“Why Syria’s Kurds are beating Al Qaeda,” By Balint Szlanko

Why Syria’s Kurds are beating Al Qaeda

The author, Balint Szlanko

By Balint Szlanko – @balintszlanko
For Syria Comment, December 16. 2013

The Kurds of Syria have been in the news lately. Fighting—and beating—Al Qaeda-allied groups and other rebel militias in their struggle for Syria’s northeast, in the past year they have in effect set up their own ministate inside the country. Here is why they are winning.

1. Unified command and control structures. Unlike the rebel militias, the Kurdish armed group, the Yekineyen Parastina Gel (People’s Protection Units) or YPG, is controlled by a single general command. This allows it to effectively operate on a frontline more than 120 miles long by transferring people and other assets relatively easily to where the need arises and to coordinate operations effectively. Contrast this with its enemies, the mainly Arab rebels: they are splintered into at least six major groups (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Nusra Front, Ahrar al Sham, the Kurdish Islamic Front, the Tawheed Brigade, and the Free Syrian Army, itself an umbrella organisation of smaller groups) that have a patchy record of coordination. Indeed, some of the rebel groups that fight together against the Kurds have often fought each other elsewhere.

2. Superior tactical skills and discipline. It’s hard to be entirely sure of this because YPG commanders provide journalists with only limited access to their operations. That said, the YPG frontline positions and checkpoints I have seen tended to look well-organised with properly dug trenches and positions for machine-guns, snipers and spotters. Their checkpoints tend to have sandbags for protection, rather than blocks of cement, which are easier to transport and set up but give less protection against gunfire because they tend to splinter upon the bullet’s impact. There is also evidence that the YPG receives training from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a militant group that has decades of experience fighting the Turkish state. I met one PKK trainer in a town under YPG control who said he was teaching the YPG battlefield tactics.

3. Wide popular backing. The YPG’s political master, the Democratic Union Party or PYD, is not without its share of controversies and has plenty of detractors among the Kurds. But with only the YPG standing between the Islamists and the Kurdish towns, the militia is currently receiving plenty of genuine support from the population. This includes not only Kurds but Arabs and Christians, too, many of whom have much to fear from the rebels. The Kurdish areas are full of pictures of the YPG’s fallen, and funerals often turn into big celebrations that are not staged (though certainly encouraged). Contrast this with the enemy’s position: some of the rebel groups are feared, despised or even hated in the areas they control, partly because of the insecurity and corruption that have often followed them, and because the oppression some of the more extreme groups have instigated.

4. A powerful ideology. The YPG subscribes to a secular nationalism that has historically been highly effective as a force for mobilisation and war. Kurdish nationalism, which has so far been denied its own state, has a huge number of followers in the area and is less controversial than the ideology many rebels have subscribed to, political Islam. The Kurds’ ideology is also effective in that it doesn’t work to the exclusion of others: relations with the region’s minorities, Sunni Arabs and Christians, have so far been mostly good, thanks to the common enemy. Nationalism, of course, can easily turn into paranoid xenophobia, but so far there is not much evidence that this is happening.

5. A relatively open political system. The PYD has been often accused of cracking down on its political opponents and there is evidence that this has indeed been the case. That said, the political structure of the Kurdish autonomy is the most open in Syria right now, giving positions not just to the dominant PYD, but to its main political rival, the Kurdish National Council (itself an umbrella group of parties). In the recently announced temporary administration not just Kurds but also Christians have taken up positions. This helps ensure that representation—and therefore legitimacy and mobilisation—are on a far more solid ground than under the stifling dictatorship of the regime areas and the chaos of the rebel-controlled towns.

6. A good road network. The geographical shape of the Kurdish autonomy is in some sense unfortunate, being very wide and with a depth of only a few miles in places. Yet this also a source of luck, as there is a good paved road along the entire length of the area. This allows easy transport of troops and other assets from one part of the war zone to another. The entire of length of the autonomy can be travelled in half a day.

7. Access to fuel. Hasakah province is said to contain about 60 per cent of Syria’s (meagre) oil wealth. Not all of this is in Kurdish hands and most of the oil rigs are not working at the moment. That said, there is some refining going on, which provides the YPG with a reliable source of fuel for its trucks.

8. A safe and intact home front. The Kurds have so far avoided a clash with the government, which means they haven’t had to worry about airstrikes and artillery shelling. Many of Syria’s rebel-controlled cities, towns and villages have been reduced to rubble with little or no electricity and little food. These shortages always effect the civilians more than the fighters, but they still make it much harder to fight a war. They also tend to cause corruption and infighting, which the Kurds have so far been able to avoid.

9. Clever strategy. Many of the factors mentioned above stem from this. The Kurds have simple and clearly defined war aims—protecting and governing their own territories—and are focusing on the essentials to achieve this: running a single, well-organised security force, keeping hostiles—the Islamists and the FSA—out and compromising with those—the government—who present no immediate danger. They have also avoided looting and terrorising their own towns, unlike their opponents.

To be sure, the Kurds still face an uphill struggle. They are under embargo from all sides: the border crossings into Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan are closed, and until they can figure out the politics with their neighbours they will remain closed. This puts huge pressure on them economically and militarily. It is unclear where the YPG gets its weapons from but being under lockdown can’t be good. In this context, the recent capture of the Yaroubiya crossing into Iraq proper is a big success, because for the first time it gives them access to a non-hostile state.

The Kurds also face a well-supplied and dedicated—indeed fanatical—enemy that is unlikely to give up easily, though the recent government offensives in the west might refocus the rebels’ attention. The Kurds also have an odd relationship with the Syrian government, based essentially on a common enemy, the rebels. But this is not a real allience and could easily tip over. With the Syrian government still in control of an airfield and an artillery base in the middle of the Kurdish autonomy, things could quickly get ugly if that relationship breaks down.

Balint Szlanko is a freelance journalist who has covered Syria since early 2012 and has recently completed two trips to the Kurdish areas

Comments (139)


Ghufran said:

The underlying reason why Kurds will win over militant islamists is the fact that Kurds have a legitimate cause and do not subscribe to an evil ideology. A secular writer, Burak Bekdil, from Hürriyet daily sheds light on the corruption and hypocrisy of militant Islamist dogma in his own country Turkey:

Last year, parliament refused Alevi deputies’ request to have a cemevi on the Parliament compound for prayers, citing advice from the powerful Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) that “Alevi faith is incumbent in Islam; therefore its venue for prayers should be mosques.” That advice was pretty much the same if the Alevis insisted that the right prayer venue for the Sunnis were the cemevis. 
The reasoning reflects the rigid Islamist habit of corrupting facts at every convenience, wherever and whenever, and without feeling a crumb of shame because of gross hypocrisy. When Sunni women who (rightly) insisted they should be able to wear the Islamic headscarf on campuses “because this was God’s commandment,” they were reminded that there was no such commandment in the Quran. The Islamists argued back: Whether it is a Quranic commandment or not, you must respect the way one feels s/he should practice faith.” Right? Right. But that powerful logic suddenly disappears when Alevis resort to it: With or without evidence from the holy script we believe that this is where we should pray.
To which the Sunnis respond with a cold “we-will-decide-where-you-can-pray” indifference. This is typical of Islamists demanding broad minority rights in countries where they are a minority; but proudly remind everyone of their majority when “the other” demands the same rights in countries where they are a majority. 
One can ignore the famous fatwa issued by a Sunni Syrian cleric, Sheikh Muhammad Badi Moussa, that “we ruled it is permissible to kill Alawite women and children;” or Sheikh Yasir al-Ajlawni’s fatwa that “Sunnis can capture and have sex with non-Sunni women (in Syria)” – both echoing the Ottoman jurist Mehmet Ebusuud, who in the 16th century, instigated massacres and persecution of Alevis and other non-Sunni Muslims. Much less violent but nearly absurd fatwas are part of the devout life in Turkey even this day.
My own research has shown that the most common question asked to religious authorities by Sunni men and women is “whether it is permissible to marry an Alevi.” I have checked the four most popular Sunni fatwa sites for answers, hoping for a glimmer of reason. 
The scholars of one site replied, “such marriages are not right due to the ‘risks’ they entail.” That was polite. Another ulama advice was, “a woman who would identify herself as Alevi and insult the Prophet Muhammad could not be considered Muslim.” The third one explained marriage would not be permissible because the Alevis had different religious rituals and practices. The fourth fatwa was more direct, “The Alevi faith is null and void; therefore marriage is not permissible.”
But there are official fatwas, too, regarding permissible marriages according to Islam. In 2007, for instance, a member of Diyanet’s Supreme Religious Affairs Board (a professor of theology) said in Islam it was permissible for a man to marry his step daughter. And according to Diyanet’s chairman, Professor Mehmet Görmez, “It is wrong (for the Alevis) to seek religious status 14 centuries after the birth of Islam.” 
Nice summary we have here: Sunnis can decide where Alevis should be praying; but they should not marry Alevis; but they can marry their (Sunni) step daughters; but the Alevis should not seek a religious status. Meanwhile, the Alevis can continue to enjoy proceeding with paying taxes to finance Diyanet’s budget that overwhelms the budgets of more than 10 ministries combined.
December/18/2013

December 17th, 2013, 11:10 pm

 

Altair said:

Maybe the real reason the Kurds are beating “Al-Qaeda” is because “Al-Qaeda” doesn’t really exist.

Or if does, someone should at least take the trouble to define it. Who’s in charge of it? What is its ideology? Who is funding it? Does it actually have a running membership? Is there a running operation from which directives are made and followed?

This “Al-Qaeda” thing seems to be just a stupid label pinned on any group of men with long beards and Kalashnikovs. Can someone answer these questions?

December 17th, 2013, 11:24 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Many Muslims would like to say that alqa’eda is made in a CIA lab or even in Qirdaha, Assad’s hometown, and that most Muslims oppose its violent and Takfiri ideology, I beg to differ on all counts. It is true that Islamist terrorists have been used by a number of governments inside and outside the middle east as agents for proxy wars but the fact is that groups like alqaida continue to receive material support from individuals all over the world who agree with its evil ideology and barbaric methods, at the top of supporters list is countries where Wahhabism is alive and well like the GCC countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Support for jihadists also exist in iraq , north Africa , somalia, parts of the old soviet union and now Syria.
Congratulations !!

December 17th, 2013, 11:58 pm

 

Darwish said:

Bottom line, I am happy that my people are beating those criminals. The western community should help us because we don’t have terrorist schemes like those of jihadists. It is already time to get over what one stupid Kurd did (Saladin).

December 18th, 2013, 1:25 am

 

ALAN said:

((The Kurds also have an odd relationship with the Syrian government, based essentially on a common enemy, the rebels. But this is not a real allience and could easily tip over. With the Syrian government still in control of an airfield and an artillery base in the middle of the Kurdish autonomy, things could quickly get ugly if that relationship breaks down))

ha ha ha ha ha !That’s funny!

Szlanko can kiss himself in the mirror and that flirts with the same feelings as he wants

Darwish!Who are you?
Glory to Salahuddin against your will!! The western community should help you personally , when you will be there puppet ! down with your mendicity!

December 18th, 2013, 6:31 am

 

Tara said:

The West has betrayed the Syrian people. The opposition should give them the finger and tell them to # off. They should call Geneva II off. Let Obama build his legacy supporting someone who used chemical weapons against his people. We are thankful for the KSA and we are thankful that the opposition does not represent any one on the ground. The strength of the revolution comes from its disunited state. Everyone is against Assad and will fight him his/her way. Let KSA officially declare jihad. The Syrian rebels can do without the freaking non-lethal McDonald’s meals and night Ray Ban. Let them have Friday of “Will burn the Balad of Assad”. They will not win against the will of the people.

مؤتمر صحفي لائتلاف المعارضة السورية بعد اجتماع أصدقاء سوريا بلندن في أكتوبر/تشرين الأول (الأوروبية)
يجري السفير الأميركي لدى سوريا روبرت فورد لقاء مع المعارضة السورية في إسطنبول اليوم، وذلك في وقت قالت فيه مصادر من المعارضة إنها تلقت رسالة من الدول الغربية تفيد بأن مؤتمر جنيف2 قد لا يفضي إلى خروج الرئيس بشار الأسد من السلطة، في حين تعهدت السعودية بدعم المعارضة ماليا وعسكريا.

ومن المرتقب أن يلتقي فورد وفدا من أعضاء من المجلس الوطني الذي يعد أكثر هيئة معارضة في الائتلاف الوطني لقوى الثورة والمعارضة السورية، لدخول مفاوضات مؤتمر السلام الدولي بشأن سوريا المعروف باسم “جنيف2” والمقرر عقده في الثاني والعشرين من الشهر المقبل في بلدة مونترو السويسرية بسبب عدم وجود فنادق شاغرة في جنيف.

وقال رئيس المكتب الإعلامي في ائتلاف المعارضة السورية خالد الصالح للجزيرة من إسطنبول إن عنوان اللقاء هو الوضع الميداني المتدهور في سوريا وخاصة تصعيد قوات النظام حملته بالبراميل المتفجرة على حلب وفي أماكن أخرى.

وأكد الصالح أن المعارضة تعيد تقييم الوضع بشأن جنيف2، موضحا أنه إذا فشل الغرب في إيقاف القتال قبل المؤتمر فكيف للآخرين أن يعولوا عليه، وأشار إلى أن جنيف2 سيكون مجرد إعطاء مزيد من الوقت للنظام السوري.

وشدد الصالح على أن مشاركة المعارضة في المؤتمر مرهونة بضمان عدم وجود أي مكان للأسد في المرحلة الانتقالية.

وكانت دمشق قد أعلنت رسميا مشاركتها بمؤتمر جنيف2 مؤكدة أنها لا تفعل ذلك من أجل تسليم السلطة، في موقف متناقض تماما مع مطلب المعارضة من المؤتمر وهو استبعاد الرئيس الأسد من العملية الانتقالية.

الصالح قال إن عنوان لقاء المعارضة مع فورد هو الوضع الميداني في سوريا وتصعيد النظام (غيتي إيميجز)
رسالة من الغرب
غير أن مصادر في المعارضة قالت لوكالة رويترز إن الدول الغربية نقلت لها رسالة مفادها إن محادثات السلام قد لا تؤدي إلى خروج الأسد من السلطة، وإن الأقلية العلوية التي ينتمي إليها ستظل طرفا أساسيا في أي حكومة انتقالية.

وقالت المصادر إن الرسالة نقلت إلى أعضاء قياديين في الائتلاف الوطني السوري أثناء اجتماع لمجموعة أصدقاء سوريا الأسبوع الماضي في لندن، وأضافت أن سببها هو اتساع نفوذ تنظيم القاعدة وغيرها من الجماعات “المتشددة” واستيلاؤها على معبر حدودي ومستودعات أسلحة تابعة للجيش السوري الحر “المعتدل” قرب حدود تركيا.

من جانبه، قال عضو كبير بالائتلاف على صلة وثيقة بمسؤولين من السعودية “أوضح أصدقاؤنا الغربيون في لندن أنه لا يمكن السماح بإبعاد الأسد الآن لاعتقادهم بأن ذلك سيؤدي إلى حدوث فوضى وسيطرة الإسلاميين المتشددين على البلاد”.

وقال دبلوماسي من الشرق الأوسط إن التوصل إلى اتفاق مقبول في مؤتمر جنيف2 لدى أميركا وروسيا يتطلب من المعارضة الموافقة على المشاركة في إدارة انتقالية فيها وجود قوي للعلويين، مشيرا إلى أن “الأسد قد يبقى رئيسا أو لا يبقى، لكن سلطاته ستتقلص على الأقل”.

وتابع أنه إذا رفضت المعارضة مثل هذا الاتفاق فستفقد معظم الدول الغربية ولن يبقى في صفها سوى السعودية وتركيا وليبيا.

وقال مسؤول غربي رفيع إن روسيا والولايات المتحدة تناقشتا بشأن المسؤولين الحكوميين الذين يمكن الابقاء عليهم في المرحلة الانتقالية لكنهما لم تتفقا على أي برنامج عمل ثابت.

ولكن دبلوماسيين وأعضاء كبارا في الائتلاف السوري حذروا من أن التحول في أولويات الغرب وخصوصا الولايات المتحدة وبريطانيا من إبعاد الأسد إلى محاربة الإسلاميين “المتشددين” يسبب انقسامات بين القوى الدولية الداعمة للثورة السورية.

وتقول رويترز إن هذه التسوية الدبلوماسية بخصوص المرحلة الانتقالية من شأنها أن تضيق خلافات الغرب مع روسيا الداعمة للنظام السوري، ولكنها قد توسع اختلاف الرؤى مع حلفاء المعارضة في الشرق الأوسط فيما يخص طريقة التصدي للأزمة.

لكن السعودية وتركيا تعتقدان أن التصدي للمتشددين لا يأتي في مقدمة الأولويات وتشعر السعودية على وجه الخصوص بالغضب مما تعتبره استرضاء أميركا للأسد وإيران، ولم توفد الرياض سوى دبلوماسي من مستوى أدنى إلى مؤتمر أصدقاء سوريا في لندن.

وأشار آفاق أحمد -وهو مسؤول سابق في المخابرات السورية تحول إلى صفوف المعارضة قبل عامين- إلى أن روسيا ليست متمسكة بالأسد لكن الإبقاء على الجيش السوري خط أحمر بالنسبة لها لأنها تدرك أن العلويين بما لديهم من خبرة في الجيش والأمن على مدى خمسة عقود هم أفضل من يقاوم من وصفهم بالمتشددين الإسلاميين.

دعم سعودي
بدوره، أعلن السفير السعودي في بريطانيا محمد بن نواف بن عبد العزيز آل سعود أن المملكة العربية السعودية سوف تتحرك بمفردها وستواصل مد يد قوية ماليا وعسكريا للمعارضة في سوريا في ظل عدم تحرك الغرب.

واعتبر السفير السعودي -في مقال بصحيفة نيويورك تايمز الأميركية- أن العلاقات بين المملكة وشركائها (من الدول الغربية) كانت على المحك خصوصا بسبب الخلافات بشأن إيران وسوريا.

وأوضح أن الرياض بإعلانها التصرف بمفردها لا خيار آخر لديها غير التحرك بمزيد من العزم في الشؤون الدولية. وأشار إلى أن المملكة سوف تتحرك لتحمل مسؤولياتها مع أو بدون دعم شركائها الغربيين.

December 18th, 2013, 7:02 am

 

Observer said:

I am surprised that the regime trolls have not bombarded us with the news that the West is signaling to the opposition that Athad may stay.

It seems the Russians are insisting that the security house of cards remains in place without Athad. That may be the reason for the silence. I do not know. This is the last paragraph of the NYT article about it

{“Russia is not sticking to Assad but the red line for Moscow is the preservation of the Syrian army,” he said. “It realizes that, with five decades’ experience in the army and security, the
Alawites are best placed to fight Islamist militants.

“The political solution has to be gradual and involve a collegiate leadership. If Alawites are assured that there will be no retribution against their lives and property they would accept that Assad and the first line of his lieutenants leave.”}

So Putin is interested in having another regime like his stay in power. It seems that the Alawi leadership is now negotiating that it does not suffer retribution.

So the stupid Russians and the stupid West think that we can just make happy happy and liver together forever after?

The stupid inept incompetent corrupt and criminal regime forces are incapable of controlling the country. Three years of fighting and slow and relentless loss of control including in Damascus and Banias and Tartous and Aleppo and even Latakia has proven that only Alawi takfiris are left to run the show.

By the way if Sunnis have their takfiris we also have Alawis that have their takfiris also and we have also secular that practice takfir of others as well.

What goes around comes around.

In the meantime the stooges of the outside opposition are going to Geneva to sip coffee and pontificate while the real fighters have refused to sit with the US.

Once again this incompetent administration of the community organizer finds itself in a situation where it has no say in how the actions are being played on the ground.

When there is no strategy for how to deal with the rest of the world and no doctrine to guide you; you have committee meetings running your foreign policy.

Kerry wants a Nobel Prize and nothing else the fate of the people is the least important point on his agenda.

I am jubilant when I see so much disarray and chaos of all protagonists.

Russia bribing Ukraine is a good indicator of its disarray as well. Well if it sends money to Ukraine perhaps it will not be able to reconstruct Thouria

He he he he he he

December 18th, 2013, 7:39 am

 

zoo said:

“Zahran Alloush is the son of a Syrian Sunni sheikh based in Saudi Arabia”

The New Power On The Ground In Syria

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikegiglio/the-new-power-on-the-ground-in-syria

Islamist commanders like Zahran Alloush now dominate the Syrian rebellion — will they work with Washington? “We will not succumb to the agendas of the West.”

Boosting these Salafi groups at the expense of al-Qaeda appeared to be the calculation made by Saudi Arabia, believed to be a driving force behind the Islamic Front’s formation, Tabler said. “They wanted to do two things: One was to strengthen the opposition to Assad, and the other was to get them to back away from the extremists,” Tabler said. “They just don’t want the [Al-Qaeda groups] to come to power. It’s a subtle difference [between them and the Islamic Front]. But it’s a difference.”

December 18th, 2013, 7:58 am

 

zoo said:

After 120,000 dead, millions of refugees, massive destruction…..

Western powers backtrack on Assad stance, call for president’s role in Syria’s transitional government

http://www.albawaba.com/news/syria-assad-541379

December 18th, 2013, 8:12 am

 

zoo said:

Is Saudi Arabia serious in taking long overdue steps to discourage the funding of Al Qaeda and “bad” jihadists by “charities’ and Saudi individuals?

Opinion: A new weapon against terrorism

http://www.aawsat.net/2013/12/article55325453
The Saudi government has passed a law on terrorism, defining terror crimes in detail, and laying down the relevant punishments.

The Saudi Council of Ministers agreed the law on both terror crimes and the funding of terrorism at the end of its weekly session, which takes place every Monday. According to specialists in the field the draft was highly detailed in its definition of such crimes.

December 18th, 2013, 8:28 am

 

norman said:

The solution is to have free election in 2014 that president Assad will not run in and amnesty to all and fight against the militants, president Assad can run in the following elections if he wants, the same as i said in the beginning of the crises.
The opposition will declare victory that Assad is not running, the government will declare victory that it did not fall and the West will have an army that is fighting AlQaeda,

December 18th, 2013, 8:41 am

 

zoo said:

The Islamic Front is playing hard to get showing clearly that Saudi Arabia intends to sabotage the Geneva conference after Putin rejected Baby Bandar’s request to postpone it

US ambassador says Syria’s Islamic Front rejects talks

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/us-ambassador-says-syria-39-islamic-front-rejects-124124854.html#NLt6uZt

December 18th, 2013, 9:06 am

 

zoo said:

Norman

I agree with your suggestions and I wish it was feasible. But when we see the state of the opposition, disunited, weak and polluted by foreign influences and ideologies, I cannot imagine any candidate from the opposition taking the leadership of the country. The army will simply not follow.
We are seen the mess in Egypt when Islamists took the reins of the country and these countries do not even face Islamist terrorism.

In Syria the first priority and task of the new president will be to destroy the “bad” terrorists and restore security.
The definition of “bad” and “good” jihadists vary greatly among Syria, the West and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia considers the Islamic Front as ‘good’ jihadists. The West is still not convinced of that and is trying to probe it.
For Syria the “bad” terrorists are anyone who attacks the Syrian Army and the government institution.
The Syrian army is until now the only force that could restore security. This is why, in my view the only possible candidate for presidency, if Bashar al Assad decides not to run, is a moderate military close to the present government.

Because Kurds are both moderate Sunnis and part of a united and strong minority, I think a Kurdish president would be very appropriate.

Any other will face continuous political and military instability.
Where is that man?

December 18th, 2013, 9:34 am

 

Adam Daniels said:

What nonsense! As a person from Turkiye, let me tell you that the Kurds are the most incompetent people in the Middle East.

The only reason the FSA hasn’t completely overrun the Kurdish terrorists is that (1) They are preoccupied fighting Assad’s Russian-backed military. (2) The Kurdish terrorists are being supported by and armed by Assad himself.

Again, I repeat, the Kurds are the most incompetent/inadequate people in the Middle East.

December 18th, 2013, 9:41 am

 

Altair said:

Here is the problem in Syria as I see it, a fundamental problem.

Syria is the victim of about a half century of bad government, totalitarian rule, longer if one counts pre-Baath rule.

Bashar has talked of Syrian institutions in interviews and speeches, but the fact is, there is only one institution in Syria, his family. This was the “system” set up by his father.

Remove this family rule and the whole state collapses, which it is in the process of doing.

But the family won’t allow a peaceful transition. With slogans like “Asad for Eternity” and “Either al-Asad or we burn the country” (both of which rhyme nicely in Arabic), I think we can safely assume that point.

So it’s either choice a) accept Asad family rule, or b) oppose it. As we saw, peaceful opposition didn’t work. The family business would just escalate to violence, brutality, torture, whatever means to stay in power.

It is fundamentally immoral to support such rule. Syrians have been pragmatists for too long, and they are reaping the returns of such “pragmatism”. (No one should have accepted what happened in Hamah in 1982, for example. Incidentally, the criminal of Hamah, Rif’at, is enjoying a cushy lifestyle in European capitals from his ill-gotten gains, and not a hint of prosecution has come from Western leaders, so people who get support from these leaders should reckon with that).

That doesn’t make the opposition look good. Unfortunately, they stink, and their stink is getting worse with time.

The whole country is in a vicious cycle that keeps getting worse and worse. There seems to be no way out and the country is headed on a “nowhere fast” course.

If anyone can address this problem and find a way out (and I mean ones that save Syria, not idiotic proposals to partition it), even a theoretical one, I’d love to hear it. The truth is, Syria has fallen into a trap 40 to 50 years in the making.

December 18th, 2013, 9:45 am

 

Adam Daniels said:

What nonsensical baloney! Google “PKK leşleri” in Google Images with the content filter off to see how well Kurdish terrorists are faring.

Let’s see, the outnumbered but Russia-backed Assad regime was controlling the Kurdish terrorist losers so badly that they never so much as offered a critical word toward him and actually were willing to wage murderous terrorism on his behalf against neighboring countries for decades (you’ll notice that Ocalan lived in a mansion built for him by Assad for 2 decades and that he was the middle-man for weapons from the Russian military to Kurdish terrorists).

The FSA is fighting the Russia-backed Assad regime to a standstill in other parts of the country.

And this writer expects us to believe that the Kurdish terrorists (who had their asses handed to them in every theater of combat in history (Iraq/Turkey/Iran) & have never had a state in history (despite ridiculous trillions of dollars in support from USA/Israel/Russia) and whose only hint of gain required a genocidal trillion dollar occupation by the US military in Iraq) can be perceived to have any measure of success just because Assad withdrew his military from areas with Kurdish terrorists (while still offering them weapons and advisors as he always has done).

Um, maybe the FSA is preoccupied fighting the same Russia-backed Assad regime that supports the Kurdish terrorists (where do you think the Kurdish terrorists are getting their weapons from)?

Really, this fake poofing of Kurdish terrorists by Islamophobic Westerners is really hilarious when those of us from the Middle East are readily aware of the glaring inadequacies of these Kurdish losers who we somehow still tolerate. In not a single one of the countries whose land they occupy, can you name a significant person in society who has contributed to the country they live in. I can’t speak for Iran/Iraq/Syria, but in Turkiye, the regions where Kurds live perform FAR below the average in standardized tests despite the ridiculously disproportionate amount of Turkish government aid that goes to Kurd-occupied regions. These Kurd-occupied regions are also rife with caste systems (where the loser castes’ children are forcibly sent by land-owning overlords to the PKK to serve as cannon fodder and the land-owning Kurdish “aghas” are the ones in Parliament) misery, violence against women, “honor” killings, and female circumcision.

December 18th, 2013, 10:03 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Do you think that after all this carnage, brutality, mass murder, mass expulsion, ethnic cleansing, delegitimization of entire communities, threats and the use of language by the opposing sides – after all this, could Sunnies, Kurds, Alawites, Christians – reunite and live together in a future Syrian state?

I doubt it very much.
.

December 18th, 2013, 10:14 am

 

norman said:

Zoo,
I did not say that one of the opposition will win, but will run, the person that the Syrian army supports most likely will win like in Egypt.
This is what Saudi freedom That Tara likes brought to Syria

http://www.alquds.co.uk/?p=114927

December 18th, 2013, 11:01 am

 

zoo said:

@15 Amir in tel aviv

In Lebanon, the civil war has lasted 15 years with horrible massacres between the factions. Compared to Syria, it was at a lesser scale since there were no massive refugees crisis and much less death toll but Beirut center, similarly to Aleppo was totally destroyed and the country was geographically divided according to religious sects. As the Lebanese army had collapsed because of sectarian divisions , the irony is that it is the Syrian Army who took over and stopped the war in Lebanon by violent means .

Not much has changed after the war, the same political system remained, Christians, Shias and Sunnis kept their political roles assigned by the 1946 unwritten convention and people not only rejected revenge but tried to forget their foolishness as most wanted to rebuild the country.
If Lebanon has not reached full stability ( by the way since 1956 it has not been stable) it is because of two factors, the permanent Israeli threat and the new Islamist threats emanating from Saudi Arabia and that spilled in Lebanon because of the presence of 500,000 frustrated and desperate Palestinians waiting for their return home and recently the Syrian crisis.

I trust that once the Syrians finally realized that they have been trapped and manipulated by foreign forces, they will compromise to restore their country by opposing the destructive forces that are now grouped under the banner of Islam.
I trust that the Geneva conference will expose the opposition’s lack of leadership and its Sunni Islamist only vision of Syria’s future. Like the majority of Egyptians, I hope more Syrians get convinced that a Sunni Islamist government is not a solution for Syria.

I trust they will turn to the more “secular” options and look there for leadership to bring peace and security back to the country.

December 18th, 2013, 11:10 am

 

zoo said:

@16 Norman

I agree that only a leader supported by the Syrian Army can become a president.
Any other will get the same fate as Morsy or worse.

December 18th, 2013, 11:15 am

 

ALAN said:

4. Darwish
who are you ?

December 18th, 2013, 11:28 am

 

zoo said:

Norman

In Egypt, there is one strong minority, the Copts. This is why they ave been able to offer a strong front against the Moslem Brotherhood hegemomy on the country and help deposing Morsy.

In Syria, there are many minorities, the strongest militarily and politically are the Kurds and the Alawites.
Both are secular, both violently rejects any Islamist hegemony on Syria. They have more commons views than differences.

Therefore an alliance between these two would offer a very strong front against any attempt to bring a Salafi (Saudi Arabia) or Moslem Brotherhood ( Qatar, Turkey) governement in Syria.
While Turkey may object and sabotage it, I am convinced that the Kurds will be playing a very important role in building up the future of Syria.
Will Syria get a new Salah Eddine?

December 18th, 2013, 11:32 am

 
 

zoo said:

Is the Syrian government trying to bring the FSA ‘good’ rebels on its side by easing blockades, now that they have a common enemy, the Islamic Front and the al Qaeda terrorists?

Syrian rebels, government reach deal to ease weeks-long blockade of town

Sunday, Nov. 10 2013, 9:59 AM EST

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/syrian-rebels-government-reach-deal-to-ease-weeks-long-blockade-of-town/article15368794/

Government officials and rebels reached a deal to ease a weeks-long blockade on a rebel-held town near the Syrian capital on Sunday, allowing food to reach civilians there for the first time in weeks, activists said.

The truce is the latest to be observed in recent months between President Bashar Assad’s government and disparate rebel groups throughout the war-ravaged country.

December 18th, 2013, 11:49 am

 

zoo said:

@21 Alan

What is clear is that with all the internal troubles Turkey is facing, Erdogan may not be able to have the Turkish Constitution changed on time for the 2014 election to transform Turkey’s parliamentary system into a presidential system like France or the USA where the presidenyt gets the full executive power.

Therefore even if Erdogan managed to get the vote as a president, he will be a just a national figure but powerless as according to the Turkish system, the country is managed by the Prime Minister.

In view of that, it is quite possible that Erdogan may choose to withdraw from political life instead.

December 18th, 2013, 12:01 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

RE The tragic murder of the British Doctor.

Is this the tyrant and regime the west are apparently wanting to rehabilitate? Seriously?

December 18th, 2013, 12:06 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Perhaps the regime’s fate was sealed when Heaven (or Hell) took away Basil.

Bashar was not cut for the role. See later comment…

December 18th, 2013, 12:12 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

RE The tragic murder of the British Doctor.

Yesterday George Galloway tweeted that he would be appearing on BBC Radio 4 and Radio 5 speaking about the story.

I tuned in. Please do make the effort to listen as there’s plenty to ponder over (incl. regime officials denying ‘murder’ to Galloway). If anyones interested you can listen again:

BBC Radio 4: The World Tonight
Listen from 7:50
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03lph94

*******

BBC Radio 5: Phil Williams
George Galloway on the death of a British surgeon in Syria
Listen from 7:50
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03lnvyd

December 18th, 2013, 12:31 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

RE The tragic murder of the British Doctor.

Yesterday George Galloway tweeted that he would be appearing on BBC Radio 4 and Radio 5 speaking about the story.

I tuned in. Please do make the effort to listen as there’s plenty to ponder over (incl. regime officials denying ‘murder’ to Galloway). If anyones interested you can listen again:

BBC Radio 4: The World Tonight
Listen from 7:50
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03lph94

*******

BBC Radio 5: Phil Williams
George Galloway on the death of a British surgeon in Syria
Listen from 7:50
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03lnvyd

December 18th, 2013, 12:37 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

On Radio 5 this morning Victoria Darbyshire talked to the younger sister of the murdered Doctor. She claimed ‘the (Syrian) Deputy Foreign Minister has now given a third implausible explanation
for my brother’s death’.

BBC Radio 5: Victoria Derbyshire

The Syrian government has told the BBC that Abbas Khan’s family can send a team of doctors, of their own choice, to Damascus to carry out an independent autopsy. Mr Khan, a British doctor, was found dead in his prison cell yesterday after being arrested and detained more than a year ago. The Syrian regime claim he committed suicide. Victoria speaks to his younger sister Sara Khan who says he was killed by the Syrian secret service.

Listen from 1:10:38

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03lp3mp

December 18th, 2013, 12:49 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

#25 Uzair8

‘See later comment..’

This is a must listen.

Last night on Radio 5 Phil Williams in his weekly interview slot, talked to the BBC’s former Middle East Bureau Chief ( 2010-13), now moved to Washington to cover US news/politics, about his book ‘The world after the arab spring’.

He is first asked about the British Doctor’s death and also on the talks on the Syrian issue. He also describes his thoughts on his meetings with Gaddafi and Assad.

Please do check it out.

BBC Radio 5: Phil Williams
Listen from 01:07.20:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03lnvyd

December 18th, 2013, 12:59 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Previously people have denied that the regime is fracturing and instead tell us that the regime is becoming more cohesive.

Listening to BBC’s Paul Danaha (see previous post) he claims that the Doctor’s death shows:

‘While there may be elements of the regime that are in overall control of what is going on in that country it has begun to fracture, it’s destabalized. I genuinely don’t believe that every instruction that is carried out by.. thats given by Assad is going to be carried out on the ground by everybody. Its’ just too fractured.’

[…]

‘They don’t have the deep control that they used to.’

[…]

‘There are 14 different security services in Damascus alone.’

December 18th, 2013, 1:11 pm

 

Badr said:

“Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said Mr Khan committed suicide using his pyjamas to hang himself.”

As if a few thugs of the regime could not themselves strangle him in his cell.

December 18th, 2013, 1:55 pm

 

Tara said:

The regime killed 30 civilians trying to escape the bombardment in cold blood.

مقتل ثلاثين نازحا بدمشق وقصف مستمر بحلب

اتهم ناشطون سوريون القوات النظامية بقتل ثلاثين شخصا وجرح العشرات في بيت سحم والحجر الأسود بريف دمشق، في وقت سقط فيه قتلى وجرحى بقصف للقوات النظامية في حلب وحماة.

وأفادت الهيئة العامة للثورة السورية أن الضحايا قتلوا عندما كانوا يحاولون الخروج من المنطقتين المحاصرتين جنوب العاصمة دمشق، بعد ما وعدتهم لجنة تسوية مشتركة بفتح معبر إنساني عبر مدخل بلدة بيت سحم.
وقالت الهيئة إن الأمن فتح النار عليهم عند وصولهم قرب الحاجز واعتقل خمسين شخصا على الأقل.

وبحسب رواية وكالة الأنباء السورية الرسمية (سانا)، فإن من سمتهم إرهابيين أطلقوا النار على عائلات كانت ترافق أبناءها المغرر بهم لتسليم أنفسهم إلى الجهات المختصة.

December 18th, 2013, 3:03 pm

 

ghufran said:

Fadl Shaker, a singer turned terrorist released a religious song about Jesus. Fadl’s brain is ruined but he still has a beautiful voice:

December 18th, 2013, 3:07 pm

 

Adam Daniels said:

What nonsense. Kurds couldn’t even beat their own mother let alone anybody else. Whoever wins between FSA/Assad will smack the Kurds.

December 18th, 2013, 3:17 pm

 

Tara said:

The mixed messages continue:

The US has not changed its position in regard to Assad
فورد أعرب عن تفاؤله بشأن مؤتمر جنيف2 الذي يقول الغرب إن الأسد قد لا يخرج بموجبه من السلطة (الفرنسية)
قال السفير الأميركي لدى سوريا روبرت فورد إن بلاده ترفض مشاركة إيران بمؤتمر جنيف 2 بشأن سوريا، وأكد أن موقف بلاده من الرئيس بشار الأسد لم يتغير. من جهة أخرى رفضت الجبهة الإسلامية السورية لقاء الجانب الأميركي بشأن التحضير لجنيف 2.

وأكد السفير الأميركي -في لقاء مع إعلاميين عرب في إسطنبول اليوم الأربعاء- أن دور إيران في الملف السوري كان سلبيا دائما، كما قال إن موقف بلاده من الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد لم يتغير وأن عليه التنحي.

من جهة أخرى، قال السفير الأميركي إن الجبهة الإسلامية السورية رفضت لقاء الجانب الأميركي في إسطنبول، في حين يستعد الائتلاف السوري المعارض للمشاركة في اجتماعات ثلاثية بجنيف تمهيدا لمؤتمر جنيف 2 الذي أكد الغرب أنه قد لا يفضي إلى خروج الرئيس السوري من السلطة.

December 18th, 2013, 3:50 pm

 

zoo said:

Who could really be behind the death of the British moslem doctor?

The death of the British Moslem doctor comes just as the West is trying to convince the opposition that Bashar al Assad will very probably stay in the transitional period and maybe even after.
The timing of the death appears to be a deliberate attempt to derail Geneva conference by putting the Syrian government on the defensive.
Nowhere in the middle east or the world a prison is safe place. As it was mentioned by his mother many inmates hated the Doctor because he was British. The fact that he was released because he was British is certainly something these criminals inmates may have resented.
It was therefore not very difficult to find someone either to drug the doctor and push him to suicide or kill him.
It is obvious that the Syrian government was planning to use this release as a conciliatory gesture toward the Western community in the eve of the Geneva conference.
Someone did not want this to happen and wanted to turn it against the Syrian government.
Will he succeed? I have my doubts. The Geneva conference will happen despite all attempts to derail it.
Like HBJ, Bandar ben Sultan will lose the battle .

December 18th, 2013, 3:58 pm

 

zoo said:

Ousted president Morsi to stand trial for espionage

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/89445/Egypt/Politics-/Ousted-president-Morsi-to-stand-trial-for-espionag.aspx

Mohamed Morsi and 35 others will be tried for collaborating with foreign organisations to commit terrorist acts and revealing defence secrets

December 18th, 2013, 4:13 pm

 

Tara said:

Since when a doctor is described as Muslim or Christian?

Is it an attempt to lessen the impact of the severity of his murder in the eyes of westerners?
It is an attempt of whitewashing the crime!!

A western someone would not be as enraged as if the British doctor did not carry that qualifier. This may unfortunately be true.

But more importantly, this seemingly innocuous post is a mirror image of the face of minorities in the ME.

December 18th, 2013, 4:15 pm

 

ziad said:


The sad and puzzling story of Abbas Khan, the British doctor found dead in Syrian jail

What prompted the death of a man whose life was more valuable to Assad than any other foreigner’s in Syria?

And it became increasingly evident that President Bashar al-Assad himself was involved in the case. Mrs Khan would never have obtained access to her son without presidential permission. And it was not difficult to see how, after the West abandoned its military options against Syria under Russian duress – and after the British and American people expressed their refusal to embark upon another Middle East war – Syria’s international status was, to some extent, redeemed.

There were no more calls from Barack Obama for Assad to “step aside” or “step down”. There were no more claims by John Kerry that Bashar was Hitler or worse than Hitler. French foreign minister Laurent Fabius no longer announced – as he did more than a year ago – that Bashar no longer deserved “to live on this planet”. Assad’s enemies were increasingly identified with al-Qaeda – an enemy of the West infinitely more frightening than the Syrian regime. Assad was in a perfect position to release a British citizen – to George Galloway whom he knew personally – and obtain the gratitude, however churlishly given, of the British government.

And then it all went wrong. Abbas Khan was dead. And Faisal Mokdad, the Syrian foreign minister – a decent and intelligent man – was forced to explain a suicide which I frankly do not accept that he himself believed. What happened?

Back in 2005, when former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri was assassinated in Beirut, the world blamed Bashar al-Assad. Bashar denied this – and an American journalist who was with him when he heard the news of Hariri’s death described Bashar’s surprise. Then word got around that Syrian state security had their own reasons for wanting Hariri dead – they believed he was plotting with the French to destroy Syrian power in Lebanon and thus decided to kill him – even if this provoked an outcry which would force Syrian troops to leave their satrapy in Beirut. Treachery is a more powerful emotion than real politic.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-sad-and-puzzling-story-of-abbas-khan-the-british-doctor-found-dead-in-syrian-jail-9010993.html

December 18th, 2013, 4:30 pm

 

Syrialover said:

The Assad regime’s Big Lie from day 1 is that all it is doing is fighting terrorists.

Here’s proof that the regime needs and nurtures al Qaeda.

In Aleppo, military helicopters have again been furiously raining TNT and shrapnel on citizens at bus stations and food markets, bombing dozens of residential blocks to rubble.

Yet the solid ISIS HQ building in Aleppo remains untouched :

http://imgur.com/r/syriancivilwar/ZfTLX0G

(Children killed as Aleppo hit by worst bombing in six months: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10519129/Syria-children-killed-as-Aleppo-hit-by-worst-bombing-in-six-months.html)

The Assad regime and its handlers imagines the world has brains as small and decayed as theirs.

There’s going to be rich material for Bashar Assad’s war crime trial from al Qaeda idiots when they run back to their safe homelands. They’ll be doing all kinds of repentance and deals with local intelligence and legal agencies to be allowed back in.

December 18th, 2013, 4:32 pm

 

Syrialover said:

ZIAD #37 you didn’t have to tell us that that bucket of slops was from the man now widely referred to as “ex-journalist Robert Fisk”

Fisk has destroyed his reputation in his final years and become an object of scorn and disgust because of his allegiance to the Assad regime’s version of the world.

It’s a pathetic end to the man’s career. He’s even lost his ability to write well and his style is now parodied and mocked.

December 18th, 2013, 4:47 pm

 

ziad said:

À propos du film « King of the Sands » du Syrien Najdat Anzour

Récemment projeté à Damas, le dernier film du réalisateur Najdat Anzour semble bien s’inscrire dans la guerre de communication qui oppose le régime syrien à la monarchie saoudienne.

Jeudi 12 décembre 2013, des centaines de personnes se sont rendues à l’opéra de Damas pour assister à la première de King of the sands (Le Roi des sables). Le film du réalisateur syrien Najdat Anzour – en principe distribué dans l’ensemble du pays – a été ovationné par toute l’assistance. L’ampleur du dispositif policier a même pu faire croire un moment à la venue du chef de l’État en personne. Mais il n’en a rien été, ce qui n’a pas affecté le succès de la soirée, pas plus que la chute de deux obus de mortier à une centaine de mètres du bâtiment(1). Pour beaucoup de ces invités privilégiés, cette projection avait sans nul doute un avant-goût de victoire, ou encore de revanche contre ce qu’ils désignent comme la « conspiration internationale », financée par l’Arabie saoudite, et qui s’acharnerait depuis bientôt trois ans contre leur pays. À leurs yeux, les héritiers de la dynastie des Al-Saoud, en finançant les djihadistes étrangers venus se battre dans leur pays, ne se préoccupent guère des aspirations démocratiques de leurs concitoyens. Pour eux, ils cherchent au contraire à étendre encore un peu plus leur hégémonie politique, fondée sur une idéologie religieuse décrite comme fanatique.

http://orientxxi.info/magazine/l-histoire-du-roi-ibn-seoud-un,0461

December 18th, 2013, 4:55 pm

 

Tara said:

May the death of the “Muslim” British surgeon, the 32 yo man, the father of 2 children, the husband, the benevolent man, the tortured and the malnourished in Assad’s dungeon, the 70 Ibs man at the time of his death cuse Al Assad , the regime and everyone on this planet who gave Batta material and moral support killing the innocent.

December 18th, 2013, 5:01 pm

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Zoo #17,

Talking about a secular Syria, living in peace and security, when there’s a tsunami of Sunni Jihad going on, is a bit far-fetched, not to say wishful thinking. And I’m not trying to be cynical, Zoo; I can clearly feel your pain, sadness and frustration.

The question is, whether the Syrian citizen, who is the Sunni jihadist fighting now somewhere in Syria, be able to live in the same Syrian state, with the Syrian citizen, who is the Alawi pilot, who drops barrel-bombs from helicopters. Can those two Syrian citizens agree, or be able to live together under the same Syrian flag.

“Peace and security” are terms, containing many layers of relativity. Security for one is sometimes insecurity for the other.
Can the Alawi pilot (a Syrian citizen) feel secure and safe when the Syrian president and the Syrian army commander in chief are Sunni?
.

December 18th, 2013, 5:04 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Ziad

I read that Fisk piece earlier and a portion stood out for me which you left out:

‘Was someone trying to destroy the Syrian president’s steadily improving if still frozen relations with Britain and the US? Who would want to prevent such an improvement? Saudi Arabia? Of course. Qatar? Absolutely. Israel? Why not? But to suggest than any of these three could engineer the killing of a young Englishman in a Damascus prison is surely preposterous.’

December 18th, 2013, 5:19 pm

 

ALAN said:

Israel is a small and weak power. Its power has been magnified by the weakness of its neighbors. That weakness is not permanent, and the American relationship has changed in many ways since 1948. Another shift seems to be underway. The Israelis used to be able to depend on massive wellsprings of support in the U.S. public and Congress. In recent years, this support has become less passionate, though it has not dried up completely. What Israel has lost is twofold. First, it has lost control of America’s regional strategy. Second, it has lost control of America’s political process. Netanyahu hates the U.S.-Iran talks not because of nuclear weapons but because of the strategic shift of the United States. But his response must remain measured because Israel has less influence in the United States than it once did.
George Friedman

December 18th, 2013, 5:32 pm

 

Syrialover said:

ALTAIR #14, your analysis and description of the vicious stinking trash heap of the Assad regime is generally correct.

But you are missing a crucial dimension in your writing.

It’s an awareness and acknowledgement of the Syrian people. All the normal, competent, decent, intelligent people in Syria who are like human being everywhere else.

The Assads are not Syria. Syria is not the Assads.

Dictators always destroy everything and end up thrown out with the rubbish, incapable of creating anything that lasts.

The people of Syria want and deserve a life and future like everyone else, and one day they will build it.

History is full if examples of people coming through hell, regrouping and rebuilding.

I believe in the Syrian people. I hope you start thinking and forming a clearer picture in your head. One which views them with understanding of their circumstances and gives them sympathy and respect. Instead of dismissing them for being easy prey, compromisers, weak pawns of outsiders and “accepting” the 1982 massacre in Hama.

(Incidentally, Rifaat Assad’s happy party life is starting to shut down. Check and you’ll see the French authorities have started official inquiries into his sources of wealth. That clan is going to end up spending everything they stole on lawyers, including hopefully law crimes trial lawyers.)

December 18th, 2013, 5:33 pm

 

ALAN said:

43-
Peace will come with the cutting of all aid to the terrorists sent by the British government & their Saudi allies!

December 18th, 2013, 5:41 pm

 
 

Uzair8 said:

I don’t think I would’ve been so active on the tragic Doctor story if it wasn’t for noticing Zoo’s, in my view, attempt to spin the story yesterday.

Anyway, just one more item on this in my next comment.

December 18th, 2013, 5:44 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Message from Hanaa, Umm Abdullah wife of Shaheed Dr Abbas Khan :

‘The heart bleeds the eyes shed tears but the tongue shall not utter except that which pleases Allah. To Allah we belong, to Allah belongs everything we are and everything we have, and to Allah shall we all return. Allah gives, Allah takes, and He alone can compensate.

I have the bitter taste of death in my throat, a taste I was choking with every day of the last 13 months, and this strange type of pain in every cell of my body, I never experienced.

There’s so much I wanted to tell him and I’ve written too much for him but we can’t have this now in dunya because Allah has ordained for us to have it in a far greater place, free from stress, noise and badness.

My sweetheart has been chosen by Allah for a great status, Allah the most kind has shown me and reassured me by His great fadl and Ihsaan that my love is happy.

Oh Allah open wide the doors of Your Jinaan for my beloved one, oh Allah pour patience on us so we remain grateful to You, oh Allah we lay at the door of Your mercy ya Raheem we resort to you, grant my love Jannah and grant us sabr. Ya Allah you granted me him in dunya with Your fadl, ya Allah don’t deprive me of his company in jannah along with our beloved prophet ya Kareem..’

Source

December 18th, 2013, 5:47 pm

 

jo6pac said:

Might have been already covered but good news any way.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13920927000328

December 18th, 2013, 5:54 pm

 

ALAN said:

Why the Saudi rulers cause Syrian tragedy? Did not Enough for them Iraqi tragedy? Why aim for the tragedy for Lebanon ? Why the Saudis wreaking havoc in the Arab countries under multiple names? Why Saudi Arabia does not go directly to the war with Iran?
Does KSA need to destroy all Arab countries, one after the other in order to teasing Iran?
How long will the Saudi Arabia stay breeding ground and incubator for terrorism and export it to countries stricken by war?
Became obvious that with this Saudi behavior, no one in the world can enjoy security and stability

December 18th, 2013, 6:21 pm

 

ALAN said:

http://journal-neo.org/2013/12/19/rus-sammit-ssagpz-zamy-sly-e-r-riyada-i-real-ny-e-itogi-chast-2/

From the outset, Oman and the UAE had not been happy with the military union idea either as in their actions they were mindful of Tehran and were trying to build balanced relations with it. Clearly, they were reluctant to antagonise it by such questionable ideas, and they were more confident in their own internal stability, unlike the KSA.

Riyadh tried to crush the opposition to its plans and made a lot of efforts to ensure that Qatar (not without support from the USA) would stop pursuing active foreign policy and follow in the wake of Saudi Arabia. This was largely facilitated by the position of the UAE, who, like the Saudis, were seriously alarmed by the growing weight and influence of the Association of Muslim Brotherhood in the Persian Gulf region. It is thanks to their support that the Saudi royal family managed to get the military back into power in Egypt at the beginning of July earlier this year by making use of all its financial potential (the total funds allocated by the KSA and the UEA to the Egyptian military amounted to 12 billion dollars). During almost the same period, with Washington’s support, power changed hands in Doha, where young (just over 30 years of age) and inexperienced in political matters Prince Tamim got into power.

It seemed that Saudi Arabia’s victory that would have been culminated with the creation of a military and political union was very close. To achieve victory, all Riyadh had to do was finish off the Syrian regime, which it was hoping to do with Washington’s help. However, the September 2013 U-turn in Barak Obama’s policy towards searching for political solutions both regarding the Syrian crisis and the relations with Iran frustrated these plans completely and, right away, made the idea of a military and political union of the GSO irrelevant, at least for the time being.

This is what provoked strong reaction in Riyadh, where they had not expected either Barak Obama’s willingness to change his policy course or the active role on the part of Russian diplomacy in ensuring this manoeuvre. It became a surprise for Riyadh and a major setback for the Saudi intelligence service that it had been completely unaware of the American-Iranian secret negotiations – which had been going on in Oman for nearly a year and literally under its nose, at one of the best hotels of Muscat – which resulted in the resumption of dialogue between Washington and Tehran and successful P5+1 negotiations with Iran on its nuclear programme on 24 November.

December 18th, 2013, 6:45 pm

 

Observer said:

Mirror mirro who is the most delusional of them all it must be……..
Let us cut and paste from the regime insider
{Who could really be behind the death of the British moslem doctor?

The death of the British Moslem doctor comes just as the West is trying to convince the opposition that Bashar al Assad will very probably stay in the transitional period and maybe even after.
The timing of the death appears to be a deliberate attempt to derail Geneva conference by putting the Syrian government on the defensive.
Nowhere in the middle east or the world a prison is safe place. As it was mentioned by his mother many inmates hated the Doctor because he was British. The fact that he was released because he was British is certainly something these criminals inmates may have resented.
It was therefore not very difficult to find someone either to drug the doctor and push him to suicide or kill him.
It is obvious that the Syrian government was planning to use this release as a conciliatory gesture toward the Western community in the eve of the Geneva conference.
Someone did not want this to happen and wanted to turn it against the Syrian government.
Will he succeed? I have my doubts. The Geneva conference will happen despite all attempts to derail it.
Like HBJ, Bandar ben Sultan will lose the battle .}

It is also noted that

Only a President who has the support of the army can be president is another completely twisted and abhorrent thought process. It is the other way around . The people have sovereignty over the army and over the branches of government.

Unless of course this is the kind of Alawistan that they want to establish. It appears they want the security and army in their hands. Well they have had it for 40 years and it did not bring anything but misery to them and to the others.

Mikdad says the doctor hanged himself with his pajamas. Since when do they have pajamas in Syrian jail. The last time one of my relatives went to jail for a minor offense he had to bring in his mattress his cooking utensils and his food and his family had to provide the food as well of which 50% was stolen

Also usually there is an independent investigation in a real modern state. An autopsy by international forensic experts for example.

Now the regime is negotiating not its staying in power but lack of retribution. There will be retribution and there is going to be a lot more destruction and a lot more violence. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Get them out of our hair and the sooner the better for them. Otherwise they are going to be living in a tiny enclave. How about joining their brethren in Turkey. That would be swell.

December 18th, 2013, 6:56 pm

 

ALAN said:

« Breaking News »
Death of al Qaeda chief in S. Syria on Israeli border
DEBKAfile December 18, 2013, 8:16 PM (GMT+02:00)

DEBKAfile Exclusive: A five-man hit team Wednesday killed Muhammad Khiyari, chief of al Qaeda forces in southern Syria, the Israeli border district and the Golan town of Quneitra. They opened automatic and anti-tank rocket fire on his car in the twon of Deraa. This was first ambush of its kind of a high-profile al Qaeda chief in Syria.

I think that this operation is a creature of Israel 100% where DEBKA publish news of achievement of Israel

December 18th, 2013, 6:58 pm

 

Tara said:

( not) آيه والله شي بيطمئن

هلق أهل الحل والعقد معن شهادة إعدادي ولا بس سرتفيكا ؟
——
في مقابلة خاصة مع الجزيرة
الجولاني: نرفض تعميم التكفير والانفراد بمستقبل سوريا

انتقد قائد جبهة النصرة في سوريا أبو محمد الجولاني أسلوب المغالاة في تكفير الأفراد والمجتمعات المسلمة، وقال إن الجبهة لا ترى هذا المنهج، بل تعتقد أن المجتمعات في بلاد الإسلام “مسلمة في عمومها”، وتعنّف “بل وتعاقب” كل من يقول إن الأصل هو كفر هذه المجتمعات.

وأضاف الجولاني -في مقابلة خاصة مع الجزيرة بُثت منها مقتطفات في نشرة حصاد الأربعاء- أن الجبهة تترك الأمر في الحكم بالتكفير لما وصفه بالمحاكم الشرعية والعلماء، ليقرروه وفق ضوابط الشريعة الإسلامية في هذا الشأن.

وفي ما يتعلق بمستقبل النظام السياسي في سوريا، أكد الجولاني -في المقابلة التي ستبث في العاشرة من مساء اليوم الخميس- أن جبهة النصرة لا تطمح للانفراد بصياغة مستقبل سوريا السياسي بعد سقوط النظام، وقال “لا نريد أن ننفرد بقيادة المجتمع حتى ولو وصلنا إلى مرحلة تمكننا من ذلك”.

وأوضح أنه يترك ذلك في حينه لما سماه لجانا شرعية وأهل الحَل والعَقد، وسيجتمع الجميع “لوضع خطة لإدارة البلد وفق شرع الله تعالى لبسط الشورى والعدل”.

وفي تعليق له على ما جاء في كلام الجولاني، قال المتخصص في شؤون الجماعات الإسلامية محمد أبو رمان للجزيرة إن ما صرح به الجولاني معروف لدى العارفين بجبهة النصرة، وهو ما يميزها عن تنظيم القاعدة، وكذلك عن “الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام”.

ورأى أبو رمان أن جبهة النصرة تمثل “تيارا تجديديا” نشأ داخل تنظيم القاعدة بعد رحيل زعيمه أسامة بن لادن، ومن خصائصه تجنب إطلاق التكفير وتعميمه، والدعوة إلى مراعاة الخصوصيات المحلية في البلدان الإسلامية.

ورأى في تصريحات الجولاني رسائل موجهة للداخل بأنها ترفض الغلو والتكفير والانفراد بالسيطرة، وأخرى للإعلاميين والسياسيين في الخارج خلاصتها أن جبهة النصرة ترفض نعتها بوصف “التكفيريين” ولا تسعى لتهميش الأطياف الأخرى، معتقدا أن هذا الكلام سيطمئن الجماعات الإسلامية السورية الأخرى.

December 18th, 2013, 6:59 pm

 
 

ALAN said:

Western nations admit they CANNOT remove Assad from power in Syria… as it would lead to ‘chaos and a takeover by Islamist militants’

Western nations believe losing Assad could result in a militant takeover
Diplomats from Britain and the U.S. are said to be more concerned with combating Islamist militants than removing Assad from power
This is causing divisions with other countries who backed the three-year revolt against him
The claim was made at an anti-Assad Friends Of Syria alliance meeting
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2525704/Western-nations-admit-CANNOT-remove-Assad-power-Syria-lead-chaos-takeover-Islamist-militants.html

December 18th, 2013, 7:31 pm

 

ALAN said:

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to London said US-led diplomacy in the region was risking the stability of the Middle East.
Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz al-Saud said:
“We believe that many of the West’s policies on both Iran and Syria risk the stability and security of the Middle East,”
stability ? security ? and Middle East? where?
In Iraq okay? Syria? Lebanon? Egypt? Libya? Tunisia? Yemen? Sudan? Bahrain? Pakistan? Afghanistan? Turkey? Is Jordan okay?
wich security and stability he is speaking about? loony!

December 18th, 2013, 8:22 pm

 

Syrialover said:

OBSERVER,

I appreciate you taling the time to respond to me a couple of days ago in a previous thread (http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/al-qaedas-governance-strategy-raqqa-chris-looney/?cp=all#comment-402925 and my original comment: http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/al-qaedas-governance-strategy-raqqa-chris-looney/?cp=all#comment-402912)

You gave an excellent litany of disastrous incompetence and neglect by the Assad regime in education, defense, infrastructure, health, the economy. You name it, failure, corruption, waste and crude stupidity in every area the regime has been pretending to run.

But I still feel you are too damning and pessimistic about Syrians and others in the Arab world, accusing them of blaming outsiders for their collective problems.

No, today it’s quite the opposite – the protest generation in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria are focused inside and seeing their problem as rotten illegal dictatorships. And being desperate enough to sacrifice everything to break free of them for a future where there’s dignity, freedom and hope of developing a political and economic future.

And young people today, unless they are losers or not very bright, don’t want to have to go back to sticking around and playing along with traditional games in a tribal group – they want to be part of the world. Didn’t you? It’s 200% more compelling these days with global awareness, dreams and expectations of people under 40.

December 18th, 2013, 8:53 pm

 

zoo said:

@53 Observer

Thanks for copying and pasting my whole post. It obviously had an impact on you to take the time to do that.

I just wished you had linked to my original post instead (if you know how to do that) or at least have the decency to put it in quote and with my nickname.

But decency doesn’t seem to be one of your rare qualities.

December 18th, 2013, 9:31 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Those saying oh, no, no, the Assad regime wouldn’t have intended to kill that British doctor, are trapped in same the naïve school of thought that declared the regime couldn’t have been so reckless and stupid as to use chemical weapons under the nose of the west. It must have been the rebels, the regime wouldn’t have dared. Blah, blah.

Wouldn’t have dared? Come on! The regime are liars and criminal brutes who’ve proved daily for the last 1,000 days that they have zero fear or respect for the opinions of the west.

That doctor was killed to meet some sordid irrational agenda, like everything else the regime does – killed to signal to the west they actually don’t care what it thinks, or as an example to terrorize others, or perhaps to show who’s boss inside the regime.

Or maybe there was some kind of secret extortion effort by the regime directed at the British that failed.

Or even annoyance at the prospect of a released doctor giving an inconvenient account of Assad’s horrifying security system and prisons to the outside world.

Whichever way you want to twist and shape it, the British doctor was cruelly and pointlessly murdered by Bashar Assad.

Just as the regime has senselessly murdered thousands and thousands of other mild, decent, brave, intelligent and non-violent individuals. Compared with whom their killer Bashar Assad is a subhuman, moronic pile of excrement, not even fit to touch their shoes.

And watch the regime lie about it, putting up idiotic stories and denials, yawning and smirking behind their hands at the fuss the west is making.

The regime feels invincible and indifferent to the world, wrapped cosily in Iran’s skirts.

Assad’s no enemy of al Qaeda (see #38). His only serious enemies in his eyes are the Syrian people and anyone who dares to sympathize with and assist them.

December 18th, 2013, 9:57 pm

 

zoo said:

Amir in Tel Aviv

The Sunni Jihadists must eradicated totally from the whole Middle East and the world, even if they have to be killed one by one. They are a pleague, a cancer.
It should become a top priority for all Arab Governements. Israel is no more the enemy number one, the Sunni Jihadists are.

Even Saudi Arabia is now very worried about them. While they were in Afghanistan or in Algeria, KSA was helping them or at least tolerating them. Now they are in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Algeria and they are getting closer to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
The Saudis are panicking. They have to chose between letting Iran get more influence in the region or be destabilized by Jihadists. The USA will be of no help against the jihadists.

The Saudis just came out with laws to try to stop the funding of the Jihadists by private donors. In parallel they are funding an army in Syria , the Islamic Font, to fight against the Jihadists of Al Qaeda.
In my view these efforts are vain. The only solution is that they join forces and intelligence with Iran and with the Shias and the Kurds in the region to curb the growth of that phenomenon that is going to affect them sooner or later.

The matter is now urgent.
As for the future of Syria once the cancer of the Jihadist is vanquished, yes, like in Lebanon, Syria countryside and the suburbs will suffer from geographical divisions based on sects but there will be not be ghettos.
Damascus has remained a city where Alawites, christians, sunnis etc.,, live in harmony despite all the death.
Contrary to Jews, Arabs have a short memory and that would help in the reconstruction of Syria.

I still think the final elimination of the Sunni jihadists is a necessity to allow the region to return to stability.

December 18th, 2013, 10:01 pm

 

Syrialover said:

OBSERVER, lie face down in shame and sob your heart out. Why? ZOO has accused you of lacking decency.

ZOO knows all about decency! He knows his task here is to contradict, dismiss and sneer at it.

December 18th, 2013, 10:06 pm

 

zoo said:

Uzair8

Would you have been so prolific if the doctor was hindou, parsi, atheist, budhist, christian or even Bahai?

Do you think it would have made the headlines if he wasn’t European??

December 18th, 2013, 10:13 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Gee, ZOO is really on fire with brilliant original nuggets of wisdom today. Stop the show – listen to this (and note its earnest, pretend sympathy tone):

“I still think the final elimination of the Sunni jihadists is a necessity to allow the region to return to stability.”(ZOO #62)

Give the guy 3 PhD doctorates for deep, world-changing insights.

Except we know he doesn’t really mean it. The continued presence of al Qaeda suits his hero Assad very well.

December 18th, 2013, 10:15 pm

 

zoo said:

“UN General Assembly condemns Syria, Iran, North Korea for rights abuses”

Where is Israel? Big yawn at the UN general assembly useless condemnations.

December 18th, 2013, 10:19 pm

 

zoo said:

The AKP shaken by a huge corruption scandal. Will Erdogan survive?

When did Erdoğan know about the bribe probe?

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/when-did-erdogan-know-about-the-bribe-probe.aspx?pageID=449&nID=59812&NewsCatID=409

One of the biggest corruption probes in Turkish history has put Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) government in additional difficulties, as the country heads to critical local elections on March 30.

December 18th, 2013, 10:24 pm

 

ghufran said:

ISIS takes credit of the beheading of 3 men in Adra:
تبنت الدولة الإسلامية قتل 3 رجال في مدينة عدرا العمالية، حيث نشرت صور عبر مؤسسة إعلامية تابعة لها، لثلاثة رجال وقد فصلت رؤسهم عن أجسادهم، قالت الدولة الإسلامية أنهم “نصيرية” ومن “أحفاد ابن العلقمي
Notice the guilty silence of Thawrajiyyeh in response to the killing and kidnapping of civilians in Adra.

December 18th, 2013, 11:07 pm

 

Altair said:

#47 Syrialover,

I didn’t mean all Syrians in my comment, but rather the ones that continued to support the regime and turned a blind eye to the brutality of what happened in Hamah in 1982. I should have been more precise.

I’m fairly certain that the “success” of that brutality in putting down any opposition inspired the new generation of rulers to opt for the “security solution”, and not dialogue and compromise with the peaceful protestors of 2011. It was a tried and tested solution in their eyes, why risk a different way?

I hope you are right and that the Syrian people will be resilient and recover from this, surely one of the worst chapters in Syrian history. I agree that there are signs for hope. I also hope they don’t succumb to too much outside manipulation and reject sectarianism, probably the worst scourge of the Middle East today.

Incidentally, I wasn’t aware of any legal troubles of Rif’at. Any chance we’ll see him standing trial at The Hague?

December 19th, 2013, 2:16 am

 

Darwish said:

@Alan.. what do you mean who I am? I am just someone who had something to say here, and it looks like you didn’t like, what do you have to do with who I might be? Explain why you want to know who I am.

December 19th, 2013, 7:15 am

 

Syrialover said:

ALTAIR #71,

Thanks for your response.

Syrians didn’t turn a blind eye to Hama because they didn’t care -those who’d heard about it were frightened and didn’t even dare to discuss it in their own homes in case their neighbour reported it to the security services.

Those who suffered injuries or escaped or saw the damage to Hama first hand were left deeply traumatized and terrified, and have had nobody to tell without putting themselves and any audience in Syria at risk.

There was also a wall of censorship and secrecy, much easier in the pre-internet era. And none of the thousands of military personnel involved in the massacre have ever dared to give public testimony. Not yet. Which is why Rifaat Assad’s easy time may not last for long.(Some believe the use of chemical weapons then will be revealed).

More recently, to understand why Bashar Assad has acted as he has, read “Daddy Dearest – Inside the Mind of Bashar Assad” by Syrian writer Nihad Sirees – http://www.newsweek.com/daddy-dearest-inside-mind-bashar-al-assad-62865

And to see a correction of the myth that Bashar Assad wasn’t personally involved in all the brutality and bad decisions from the start of his time in office, see the transcript of this radio program:

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rearvision/the-reluctant-president–bashar-al-assad/4915278

December 19th, 2013, 7:43 am

 

Observer said:

SL

No issues with your post agreed. I am afraid though that steeling the revolutionary spirit is always at hand just as it happened in Russia whereby the old communists became the new oligarchs.

I also agree fully that for Zoo to talk about decency is like Athad talking about human rights. Both have no idea what they are talking about.

I also will take whatever from the regime insider for making my point. The circular argument that the regime makes is in full force here.

This regime is pure abomination on the region. I continue to say it needs to be uprooted fully from its smallest roots and thrown into the sea.

Again now they are trying to negotiate non retribution in a transitional Syria. They know deep down inside that the regime and all those that sealed their fate with it are going to be uprooted once and for all.

Once again the news are not good for the regime today.

But my utter contempt goes to those within the regime who continue to toe the line like J’amuse Jaffaari or Mikdad or the Drum and think that they can go on living in this world with the conscience intact.

If Athad we burn Albalad now.

December 19th, 2013, 8:15 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Zoo,

“…The Sunni Jihadists must eradicated totally from the whole Middle East (…) Israel is no more the enemy number one, the Sunni Jihadists are”.
==

I’m sure you didn’t think so when Assad used to host the Jihadi Palestinian MB (Hamas), and the Islamic Jihad in Damascus. Any way, I’m glad I’m no longer your number one enemy.

On every Jihadist you “eradicate”, you will have a liwa, a brigade, an itihad or a jeish – fighting you, in commemoration of this eradicated Jihadist.
.

December 19th, 2013, 8:18 am

 

Ghufran said:

Rebels threw children from windows according to an eye witness in Adra:

روى أحد مختطفي عدرا الذين تم تحريرهم تفاصيل ما شاهده خلال مدة خطفه و حتى وصول قوات الجيش السوري الى مكان الإختطاف
و قال المواطن (سامر) من قرية عرنة في جبل الشيخ أنه ليس من سكان عدرا و لكنه كان متواجداً في معمل النسيج حين دخل المسلحون اليه
و يقول سامر أن عدد من المسلحين الذين يضعون شعار جبهة النصرة على جبينهم دخلوا معمل النسيج بعد قتل الحراس و اقتادوا كل من في داخله الى مكان مجهول (قبو) ثم أحرقوا المعمل اضافة الى إحراق معمل السكر أيضا
و قال أن المسلحين القوا بعض المدنيين من النوافذ و الشرفات بما فيهم أطفال أيضاً و كانوا يقولون للمخطوفين أنهم يحتفظون بهم من أجل المبادلة على سجناء لدى النظام
و لكن كان هناك مسلحين يهددوهم بالسواطير ان لم تتم المبادلة و يقولون لهم : ” الذبح مصيركم ان حاولت الدولة الدخول لعدرا
أعدم المسلحون 8 أشخاص في مكان الإختطاف بسبب صور الرئيس على الجوالات أو صور للجيش
كل منزل كان يوجد فيه صورة الرئيس أو العلم السوري أو الجيش السوري كان يتم إحراقه بالكامل
آخر 24 ساعة قبل التحرير كان المخطوفين يسمعون أصوات رجال الجيش السوري عبر مكبرات الصوت تمهل المسلحين ساعات و الا ستداهم قوات الجيش المقر الذي يتحصن به المسلحون الساعة 3 فجراً إنتهت المهلة ليبدأ الجيش عملية يتمكن من خلالها من تحرير عدد من المخطوفين
تم توزيع المخطوفين على حافلات لإيصالهم الى دمشق و يروي سامر مشاهد شوارع عدرا المليئة بالجثث و الدماء بعضها جثث المسلحين و بعضها جثث شهداء من المدنيين

December 19th, 2013, 8:31 am

 

zoo said:

@75 Amir

You seem to believe that this cancer is here to stay. I hope it is not as it no more a concern for Syria but for the whole region, including Israel. A global fight is necessary and it starts by reining their financial sources. The private Saudi and GCC individuals and ‘charities’ engaged in funding Al Qaeda and other Islamists must be brought to justice the same way the UAE cracked down on Egyptian Moslem Brotherhood agents.
If the Saudi are afraid of the MB, they should be doubly afraid of the Jihadists that they tolerated and often helped.
Compared to the Sunni Jihadists cruelty and ruthlessness that we have witnessed, Israelis, the Moslem Brotherhood, Hezbollah and Hamas appear as angels.

December 19th, 2013, 9:00 am

 

zoo said:

Syrian Jihadist Rebels Establishing Brutal Secret Prisons In Aleppo, Amnesty Reveals

The Huffington Post UK | By Jessica Elgot Posted: 19/12/2013
Syrian jihadist rebels are torturing and killing civilians, including children, for flouting “sharia” laws such as smoking cigarettes – and exacting the brutal punishments in a bid to replace the Assad regime with a hardline Islamic state, Amnesty International has reported.

Secret jails in Aleppo and Idlib, run by Al Qaeda’s Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham militants, hold people for sex outside of marriage and alcohol consumption, and have targeted locals who broach any opposition.

December 19th, 2013, 9:09 am

 

zoo said:

@75 Amir

As long as Israel continue its illegal occupation, it is still an enemy, but maybe number 2 now.

December 19th, 2013, 9:11 am

 

zoo said:

As expected the Kurds are moving in the forefront

Syrian Kurds demand their own delegation at Geneva talks
Reuters

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian Kurds are demanding their own delegation separate from both the government and opposition at next month’s peace talks in Switzerland aimed at halting the conflict in Syria, Kurdish political leaders said on Thursday.

The Kurds say they need independent representation because their demands in negotiations over Syria’s future are distinct from those of the government or the opposition Syrian National Coalition that seeks to end President Bashar al-Assad’s rule.

“The Coalition are no different from Assad’s Baath party rule when it comes to their position on the Kurds. They do not recognise the rights of Kurds to live on their land with recognition of their basic rights, including the right to administer their own region,” said Abdelsalam Ahmed, a leading figure in the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

December 19th, 2013, 9:16 am

 

Syrian said:

U.N. Panel Cites ‘Terror’ Campaign Against Syrian Civilians
By NICK CUMMING-BRUCE
December 19, 2013
GENEVA — The Syrian government has waged “a campaign of terror” against civilians through a policy of forced disappearances to stifle dissent that amounts to a crime against humanity, United Nations investigators said in a report released on Thursday.
Read more

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/12/20/world/middleeast/syria.html?from=global.home

December 19th, 2013, 9:17 am

 

zoo said:

DUBAI: Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria will not accept any results that come from peace talks next month to end the civil war, its chief said in an Al-Jazeera television interview to be aired Thursday.

“We will not recognise any results that come out of the Geneva 2 conference,” Al-Jazeera’s website quoted Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani, the head of Al-Nusra Front, as saying.
….
In an apparent reference to the opposition Syrian National Coalition, he said “those taking part in the conference do not represent the people who sacrificed.

“Besides, who has authorised them to represent the people?”

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Dec-19/241683-qaeda-syria-chief-rejects-any-results-from-peace-talks.ashx#ixzz2nvl8UAWG
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

December 19th, 2013, 9:22 am

 

Syrian said:

Report Detail Could Further Implicate Syria in Chemical Attack, Analysts Say

BASSAM KHABIEH / REUTERS
By SOMINI SENGUPTA
December 18, 2013
UNITED NATIONS — Buried in the annex of a United Nations inquiry into chemical weapons use in Syria is information that some outside analysts say could further implicate the government of Syria in the deadliest of the five confirmed attacks.
Read more
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/12/19/world/middleeast/experts-intrigued-by-tidbit-in-syrian-chemical-arms-report.html

December 19th, 2013, 9:24 am

 

ALAN said:

Abdel-Hameed!
After confirming that you are Kurd:
1 – You said about Saladin “stupid” Is that serves the issues of whom you speak on their behalf?
2 – Do you think the assistance of the West will serve the issues of whom you speak on their behalf?
How much time is need in order to learn from the own experiences In order to reject the other uses us as instruments to implement their goals?
Why should the Kurds to be users by the Turks? And the Americans? And the Israelis? And the Arabs? And goblins?
You can describe Mandela or Gandhi that they are stupid but your points will not increase as such

December 19th, 2013, 11:01 am

 

ziad said:

هل ينجح «جنيف 2» في مهمته الجديدة: تجريم «السعودية»؟

هل يستطيع الروس اجتذاب الأميركيين إلى إصدار قرار دولي بتجريم دعم الإرهاب في سوريا؟ وهل يتضافر المجتمع الدولي لمواجهة المملكة التي تحولت راعيا رسميا للإرهاب في سوريا والعراق ولبنان واليمن وفي الشرق الأوسط وفي العالم؟ إذا كان ذلك ممكنا، فسينجح «جنيف 2»، في وضع بداية لإنهاء المأساة السورية

حتى الأب الروحي لـ «جنيف 2»، وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف، بات يتشكك ويسأل عمّن ستفاوضهم الحكومة السورية في المؤتمر الذي ربما ينعقد في 24 كانون الثاني 2014؛ «الائتلاف» و«الجيش الحر» أصبحا من الماضي، ولكنهما لا يزالان موجودين كعناوين بلا مضمون تمثيلي أو قوة عسكرية ذات بال. الآن توجد منظمات جهادية تكفيرية متعددة الأسماء، والهياكل، والصلات الاستخبارية، والخيوط التي تتداخل بين «الإخوان المسلمين» و«القاعدة» ـــ فرع النصرة، وتتعارض مع «القاعدة» ـــ فرع «داعش». وبين هذه المنظمات، تداخلات معقدة وصراعات مسلحة؛ لكنها، جميعها، تخلّت عن كل ادعاء «ديموقراطي». وهي تسعى لإقامة أشكال من الأنظمة الإسلامية، تختلف بين نمط وهابي وطالباني، ولكنها تتفق، كلها، على نبذ كل أشكال الدولة الحديثة، والحريات السياسية والمدنية والثقافية والشخصية، بل إنها تنبذ المواطنية نهائياً، وتعتمد، كلها، أسلوب التطهير الديني والمذهبي، والسيطرة الشمولية للحزب الواحد، ولكن من دون المؤسسات الدولتيّة، الدستورية أو القانونية أو الإدارية؛ فالمحاكم الشرعية هي الأساس، وأحكامها ميدانية بلا استئناف. الاعتقال والتعذيب والاعدامات، وسائل «شرعية»؛ فأين ذلك كله من صرخة «حرية» للعام 2011؟
بالنسبة الى العديد من المنظمات الجهادية التكفيرية الإرهابية، التي لا تزال وسائل الإعلام ـــ حتى المحايدة ـــ تسميها بـ«المعارضة المسلحة»، فهي لا تعادي، فقط، الهياكل السياسية والدولتية الحديثة، سواء أكانت دكتاتورية أم ديموقراطية، بل تعادي الهياكل الخدمية الحديثة: الشبكات الكهربائية والمائية والصحية والسدود والجسور والمشافي والمدارس الخ؛ فكلها رجسٌ من عمل الشيطان. ولذلك، نرى المجاهدين، في شرائط اليوتيوب، يفجرونها وهم يصرخون الله أكبر. لا مصانع ولا مزارع ولا منشآت انتاجية أو خدمية؛ بل عود إلى العيش الصحراوي المتسق مع الشريعة / الأصل. نموذج اقتصادي ممكن، فقط، بالتمويل النفطي. سخّره الله للمسلمين الأتقياء، مثلما سخّر لهم الأسلحة الإفرنجية لمقاتلة أعداء الله من روافض ونصيرية ونصارى ومَن يخالفون شرعه كما فصّله الجهاديون التكفيريون على مقاس هذه الجماعة أو تلك؛ وستتوزع الجماعات الدعم الإلهي والنفطي والغربي والإسرائيلي، وتتقاتل في ما بينها حتى الفناء، موسعةً، بلا توقف، جغرافيا الجهاد التكفيري.

أزمة سوريا، بالأساس، أزمة تنموية؛ جرى نقلها من نموذج دعم الريف إلى نموذج نيوليبرالي يقوم على تحرير أسعار المدخلات الزراعية والاعتداء على الأراضي، ومن نموذج الحمائية الجمركية إلى نموذج انفتاحي دمر الاقتصاد الحرفي. وقد أنتج هذا التغيير بضعة ملايين من المهمشين والعاطلين والمشردين الريفيين، قبل اندلاع الأحداث في سوريا. كان هؤلاء وقود الاحتجاجات، ثم الحاضنة والخزّان للجماعات المسلحة. فما الذي سيحدث بعد انتهاء الحرب السورية، إذا كسبتها هذه الجماعات التي ليس لديها أي تصور اقتصادي سوى تجارة الحرب: الحصول على أموال سياسية والسرقات والخوات الخ. يعني ذلك، أنها ستتجه إلى استدامة الحرب، أهلية ــــ طائفية ــــ داخل سوريا، وإقليمية ودولية لمَن يموّل الجهاد. وهناك ساحات جديدة للعمل: من لبنان إلى إيران، من الأردن إلى مصر، وصولاً إلى روسيا المسلمة.

نحن، إذاً، أمام تكوّن دائم لعصابات سورياستان التي ستكون، إذا لم يتسنّ للجيش السوري القضاء عليها، عاملا رئيسيا في السياسة الدولية؛ واشنطن مترددة إزاء بروز سورياستان: مخاطرها المحتملة على الأمن الأوروبي وأمن الحلفاء، أكبر من فائدتها في الصراع مع القوى الإقليمية والدولية المضادة. ومع ذلك، البراغماتية الأميركية تفتح الخطوط ـــ العلنية ـــ مع قوى الإرهاب.

http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/197333

December 19th, 2013, 11:03 am

 

ALAN said:

Wahhabi-Likud alliance in full view: French based imam Chalgoumi rewarded for his pro Israeli activities
http://youtu.be/mu5vqBRm_VI?t=1s

December 19th, 2013, 11:47 am

 

ALAN said:

الخارجية السورية تستنكر عزم الولايات المتحدة إجراء مباحثات مع “الجبهة الإسلامية”..
Al Qaeda is an intelligence asset.

All the so-called Al Qaeda affiliated rebels in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia and South East Asia are being used by their Western intelligence handlers to destroy and destabilize sovereign countries.

This process is part of an imperial agenda of post-colonial conquest.

In Syria, the Al Qaeda fighters integrated by mercenaries, trained in Saudi Arabia and Qatar constitute the mainstay of so-called opposition forces, which have been involved in countless atrocities and terrorist acts directed against the civilian population from the outset in March 2011.

Barack Obama and John Kerry have blood on their hands.

The slaughter committed in Adra, which has received virtually no news coverage was implemented on behalf of Washington.

There can be no peace as long as the Western military alliance supports the terrorists.
Michel Chossudovsky

December 19th, 2013, 12:01 pm

 

ALAN said:

قال عبد الحميد درويش، رئيس الحزب الديمقراطي التقدمي :”اتفقنا على وفد مشترك يشكل من الأحزاب الكردية الرئيسية. لن ننتهي من التفاصيل حتى نتحدث مع القوى الاجنبية والأمم المتحدة لاستطلاع رأيها”.
وأوضح عبد السلام أحمد، القيادي في حزب الاتحاد الديمقراطي، إن الزعماء الأكراد سيعرضون مطلبهم على المبعوث الدولي الأخضر الابرهيمي، لكنهم سيسعون أيضا لاقناع الولايات المتحدة والدول العربية الخليجية بذلك. وأضاف أن “روسيا مستعدة لقبول وفد ثالث للأكراد، لكن القوى الأخرى، وخصوصا الولايات المتحدة، تصر على أن تكون المفاوضات بين طرفين. إذا أصروا على وفد واحد شامل للمعارضة، فسنذهب مع المعارضة في شكل مجلس قانوني كردي موحد داخلها لكننا نؤمن بشدة بمبدأ أن الأكراد يستحقون أن يكون لهم تمثيل مستقل”.
http://www.annahar.com/article/92989-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D9%83%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D9%8A%D8%B7%D9%84%D8%A8%D9%88%D9%86-%D9%88%D9%81%D8%AF%D8%A7-%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%82%D9%84%D8%A7-%D8%A5%D9%8%D9%89-%D8%AC%D9%86%D9%8A%D9%812
United States, Gulf States and Turkey is the party responsible for all the crime and the systematic invasion and murder and destruction of Kurdish areas in Syria! Are Kurdish leaders will present their demand on the butchers of the Kurdish people?

The right needs the power of claim ! God bless Nelson Mandela!!!

December 19th, 2013, 12:24 pm

 

Observer said:

Syrian you beat me to it

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/19/world/middleeast/experts-intrigued-by-tidbit-in-syrian-chemical-arms-report.html?ref=middleeast&_r=0

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/20/world/middleeast/syria.html?ref=middleeast

Now how about Mikdad asking Amnesty International to come over and investigate the suicide by non existing pajamas of the Brithish Dr. Khan.

Amir well said. It is clear that the ethnic cleansing campaign that the regime has pursued for three years now is not coming to any fruition and is now causing a backlash and a blowback.

The violence will increase tremendously.

This regime is now a major source as Amir pointed out correctly for complete insecurity and instability.

They are coming for you soon very soon.

December 19th, 2013, 12:51 pm

 

ALAN said:

Radical rebels kidnap & torture prisoners, aim to proclaim Islamic state in Syria
http://youtu.be/SgpHIe4ReKE?t=1s
Children as young as 8 years old, are being held and tortured across a network of secret Islamist prisons in Syria according to shocking new reports. The jails are operated by one of the fiercest rebel groups – the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Its practices and laws are so harsh, that Amnesty International has equated it to a reign of terror. Smoking, or behaviour deemed anti-Islamic can lead to lengthy sentences at these detention centers and even worse. But, as RT’s Gayane Chichakyan reports, Washington’s commitment to the rebels in Syria means it’s willing to talk to even the most hardline groups.
===============
http://rt.com/news/syria-qaeda-prison-detainees-478/#.UrM5kP21-ag.twitter
Amnesty Int’l: Al-Qaeda in Syria kidnaps, tortures, executes prisoners in secret jails
Abductions, torture, killing, sharia courts, secret prisons with “inhuman” conditions – that’s what an Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist group in Syria is accused of in the latest report by Amnesty International. Victims included children as young as eight.

According to the Amnesty report, people were seized by masked men, held for weeks on end in solitary confinement at unknown locations and tried by self-styled Islamic sharia courts, which frequently pass death sentences or impose harsh corporal punishment.

Former detainees described being beaten with rubber generator belts or cables, tortured with electric shocks and being forced into a painful stress position known as the “scorpion” in which the detainee’s wrists are bound over one shoulder.

All the prisoners detained by the group ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham) were held in “cruel and inhuman conditions.”

For instance, two 14-year-olds were among those sentenced to floggings, and one of the fathers was forced to listen to his son’s screams of pain as the boy was tortured in a nearby room.

Another example provided by Amnesty concerns a child of about 14 receive a flogging of more than 90 lashes during interrogation at Sadd al-Ba’ath, an ISIS prison in al-Raqqa governorate. Another child of about 14 who ISIS accused of stealing a motorbike repeatedly received severe corporal punishment over several days.

December 19th, 2013, 1:24 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Zoo

It wouldn’t have made a difference to me the background of the Doctor.

December 19th, 2013, 1:44 pm

 

ALAN said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyQCqJwz-EI&feature=share&list=PL-5edSeW0664Ua7yMEfLZN7vzDF8_vC0K&index=1
خالد عيسى.. الولايات المتحدة وحلفاؤها لا يريدون للملف الكردي ان يناقش في جنيف 2

December 19th, 2013, 1:49 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Nelson Mandela would never have survived regime prison custody.

December 19th, 2013, 1:50 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

The Doctor’s story is waiting to be made into a television drama (2hr long). There is a story to be told. Very powerfull stuff.

George Galloway was on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show yesterday afternoon talking about the story. He acknowledged BBC’s Lyse Doucet’s, who was on immediately before him, powerful account of the situation.

Perhaps someone could get Ken Loach to direct as he is known for doing meaningful Tv dramas.

The purpose would be to share the Doctor’s tragic story as well as to to spread awareness of the plight of the suffering syrian people and to expose the reality of the regime to the mass audience.

The story would revolve around two main characters:

[Note: The plot points below are true and not fictionalised]

The Doctor

His story. Leaving his country and family behind and his work in Syria helping the victims of conflict. His subsequent arrest, detention and torture. His experience in prison based on his letters to his family.

His Mother

The journey of a mother to the middle east searching for her son though she has rarely (if at all) been outside the UK before. Her initial arrival in Beirut and then visiting one syrian ministry after another seeking her son. At one point running out of money and food she would rely on one egg a day. Her visits to her son and eventually hearing about the good news of a coming release.
A mother looking forward to the release of her son gets a phone call telling her to come and collect him and that he is dead.

************

It would make powerful gripping drama. The Doctor’s younger sister was on the radio yesterday saying how her older brother was preparing to travel to Syria to try to collect the body and bring it home. She agreed with the presenter that it would be a risky journey.

All the above is true and taken from the accounts I have heard on radio mainly from BBC correspondents.

December 19th, 2013, 2:14 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

So we now have an mullastan decenceologist around this blog.
Nothing strange anymore. If you ever heard a mulla or an Iranian politician condemning “foreign interference”, or sharmine narwani talking about ethics, or camile otrakji talking about balanced view… if you have, then zouzou talking about decency shouldn’t be strange to you. It is merely the double speak. Defeat is victory, tyranny is democracy and ……………………

December 19th, 2013, 2:18 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

If you’re interested in listening to Lyse Doucet’s powerful account and George Galloway on BBC Radio 2 yesterday as mentioned in previous comment then listen below:

Listen from 1:40:00

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03ln9s5

December 19th, 2013, 2:23 pm

 

ALAN said:

Dear Mr. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin!

How long can tolerate Saudi terroristic cancer metastasis?

Should not concerns you all of this avalanche of Saudi terrorism??

Where is the responsibility of the Russian Federation about this quantum of unprecedented terror in the front sight of the world on the Syrian territory!

December 19th, 2013, 2:35 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

The revolution is fueled by suffering, injustice and martyrdom.

I can’t see the syrian people running out of these anytime soon.

December 19th, 2013, 2:58 pm

 

Observer said:

Well said Syrian Hamster.

Mikdad says that the retard is running for re election. He will recieve hmmmmm let me think 97%; 87%; 77% of the vote. It includes the votes of a few animals kept in the zoo of decency.

He is in deep dodo these days.

They are coming for you and coming soon, very soon.

He he he he he

December 19th, 2013, 2:59 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Dear Mr. Alan
If you think I am reading you, you would a bigger (“…..”) than what your interlocutors think you are.

Vee-Vee-Pee

December 19th, 2013, 3:17 pm

 

zoo said:

“Saudi Arabia should be put on the list of countries supporting terrorism,”

Nobody can stop Assad from running again: Syria

http://www.afp.com/en/news/topstories/nobody-can-stop-assad-running-again-syria
….
“The mechanism established by the UN is that both of us will address (UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar) Brahimi. Mr Brahimi will be in the middle and he will be leading the discussions,” he said.

Muqdad described the United States and Russia as the “initiators” and said their representatives “will be seated in two rooms near the talks”.

Their role will be to provide “advise… to any delegation that wants to tell them about difficulties” and help “solve problems” that may arise.

Muqdad had harsh words for Saudi Arabia, which has supported rebels fighting to oust Assad.

“I think that if the world wants to avoid another 11 September incident, they must start telling Saudi Arabia ‘enough is enough’,” he said, referring to Al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks on the US.

“Saudi Arabia should be put on the list of countries supporting terrorism,” said Muqdad, while rejecting opposition to the participation at the peace talks for Syria’s ally Iran.

Muqdad said: “It’s a tragedy that the French and the Americans are insisting that Iran will not attend while Saudi Arabia which is destroying Syria will attend … It is absolutely unacceptable.”

December 19th, 2013, 3:42 pm

 

zoo said:

Uzair8

It is the sad story of all naive idealists who ignore their country recommendations not to take risks and who end up by facing the ugly reality of war and human cruelty when it is too late.
The poor guy died after loosing all his illusions.

December 19th, 2013, 3:57 pm

 

zoo said:

A UNSC Security Council statement “expressing outrage at Syria airstrikes” on Al Nusra rebels held areas( probably pushed by Baby Bandar) ends up in the dustbin of UN.
In view of Russia’s objections, the USA simply dropped it without making much fuss.

Diplomats say Russia objects to UN statement expressing outrage at Syrian airstrikes

The Associated Press December 19, 2013 3:10 PM

Diplomats say Russia has objected to a proposed U.N. Security Council statement expressing outrage at Syrian government airstrikes, especially this week’s indiscriminate use of heavy weapons in Aleppo that have killed more than 100 people.

The proposed council statement required approval from all 15 members.

Diplomats said Russia, the Syrian government’s most important ally, wanted all references to the regime stripped from the statement, so the U.S. decided to drop it

December 19th, 2013, 4:05 pm

 

zoo said:

The state of the opposition in one sentence

ISIS is kidnapping FSA fighters while the IF kidnaps Al Nusra fighters who are kidnapping ISIS fighters

December 19th, 2013, 4:10 pm

 
 

zoo said:

Uzair8

The number of posts who have written about the doctor leaves doubts about your flat denial.

Since you share many of the ethnic and religious characteristics of the Doctor, I guess you could easily imagine yourself in the same situation were you an idealistic and a risk taker.

December 19th, 2013, 4:33 pm

 

zoo said:

The claim of “70% of Syria liberated” is made again but this time it’s no more the FSA’s but Al Nusra’s claim

Leader of al Qaida-linked Nusra Front predicts victory over Syria’s Assad

BEIRUT — The leader of one the most feared and effective Syrian rebel groups told Al Jazeera news service Thursday that the nearly 3-year-old conflict was close to an end and that his forces – considered to be among the most radical – held the upper hand over both the Syrian regime and secular rebel groups.

Speaking as the chief of the Nusra Front, Abu Mohammed al Joulani, designated as al Qaida’s top representative in Syria, said in his first media interview that the group rejected peace talks scheduled for late January and warned Sunni Arab states of betrayal by the West as America and Iran begin discussions to end their 30-year feud.

“The battle is almost over, we have covered about 70 percent of it, and what’s left is small. We will achieve victory soon. We pray to God to culminate these efforts with victory. It’s only a matter of days,” he told an interviewer, his face and the interview location hidden for security reasons.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/12/19/212220/leader-of-al-qaida-linked-nusra.html#storylink=cpy

December 19th, 2013, 4:40 pm

 

zoo said:

The Syrian Regime’s Military Solution to the War

Jeffrey White

http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/the-syrian-regimes-military-solution-to-the-war
December 18, 2013

Victory is not assured for the regime, but trends are moving in its favor.

It has become commonplace to say that “there is no military solution” to the conflict in Syria. That claim, invoked by Western officials including the U.S. secretary of state, is used to justify an emphasis on diplomacy (the Geneva II process) and limitations on assistance to the armed opposition.

The war could indeed have a military outcome, and in light of current trends, that outcome could be a regime victory. The outlines of a regime strategy for winning the war are visible. This strategy hinges on the staying power of the regime and its allies, the generation of adequate forces, operational success, and continued divisions within rebel forces. It is subject to serious constraints, especially limitations on the size and effectiveness of regime and associated forces, and “game changers” could alter its course. But a regime victory is possible — and that is what the regime is counting on.

Conclusions

For all the reasons outlined here, assertions that “there is no military solution” to the Syrian conflict should be viewed with caution. While the regime is not certain to win the kind of victory it seeks, and may have to settle for less, the war is now moving in its favor and prospects for a reversal do not look good.

Barring a sudden collapse of the armed resistance, which for the Islamist core seems unlikely, the regime will only slowly defeat rebel forces and recover territory. But the regime is implacable and its allies are steadfast.

Regarding Geneva, the regime’s approach to the war suggests that it will not negotiate seriously with the rebels. And given its increasing success on the battlefield, the continued support of its allies, and a divided and feckless opposition, there is no reason why it should.

Jeffrey White is a Defense Fellow at The Washington Institute and a former senior defense intelligence officer.

December 19th, 2013, 4:48 pm

 

ALAN said:

102. SYRIAN HAMSTER said: / Vee-Vee-Pee/
It is important to learn good speech and civility in the comments!
Do not force the barber to send you to”………”

December 19th, 2013, 4:57 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

106. Zoo

Nope.

I probably wouldn’t have looked into it. In fact I did see a thread title about the Dr but didn’t bother looking into it at the time. It was only after noticing you’re comment and later seeing the involvement of George Galloway that I took an interest.

It even took me a day to actually read a post in another forum from which I shared the Dr’s wife’s message.

Granted I seized the opportunity to undermine efforts to rehabilitate Assad and also to do damage to the regime.

That’s how it should be. Every ounce of mileage should be squeezed out of every regime misstep to make it regret it ever did any crime.

The more I looked into the story the more I realised the moving reality.

I couldn’t help taking advantage especially with Mr Galloway involved and finding himself in an awkward situation. He’s had to be creative with forming his position but he does suspect it was ‘murder most foul’. This issue raised some questions about the regime and it’s contradictions, about something not being quite right within it’s ranks.

I’ve seen people who were skeptical of the revolution now cursing oppressors and praying for their destruction. Those who had illusions of Assad, and one guy elsewhere thinks Assad is great for some reason, he believes his interviews. What will he be thinking now?

The murder of a British Dr may well change a lot of peoples view on the Syrian issue.

Also like someone else has said, it was immediately obvious this could be an example of the regime behaviour and thinking which may push people into reassessing their view on the chemical attacks.

Many of us said there are monsters in the regime who would have no qualms about using chemical weapons.

It should now be clear to everyone how the regime denies and lies.

Unfortunately it took the Dr’s tragic death.

December 19th, 2013, 5:11 pm

 

ALAN said:

الزوجة السابقة للعاهل السعودي تتحدث حصرياً لإذاعتنا عن قضية الأميرات الأربع
http://arabic.ruvr.ru/2013_11_18/124624159/

December 19th, 2013, 5:15 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Alan

And it is neurotic to keep writing childish letters to someone who never responds. Kapeesh?

December 19th, 2013, 5:23 pm

 

zoo said:

“Syrian Americans Forum” object to Kerry’s planned meeting with the Islamic front and reiterate calls for dialog

SAF Calls on Kerry to Abandon Policy of Possible Dealing with Terrorists in Syria

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/saf-calls-on-kerry-to-abandon-policy-of-possible-dealing-with-terrorists-in-syria-236624821.html

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Syrian American Forum (SAF) is surprised that our government is entertaining further coordination and possible support of extremists and terrorists in Syria. SAF calls on Secretary of State John Kerry to revise his statement of policy about possible legitimization of groups allied, directly or indirectly, with organizations and personalities the US government listed as terrorist organizations, i.e. “the Islamic Front”.

The Secretary of State spoke in Manila about “broaden(ing) the base of moderate opposition”, then claimed “that obviously does not include radical Islamists and the worst elements”. In one example, as many are available and can be furnished, we would like to draw the Secretary’s attention to the following:

The “Islamic Front” is an alliance of different extremist militias and terrorists, most notorious of which are “Ahrar Alsham” and the “Army of Islam”.
Bluntly, in a video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aEoXOfot-k#t=31) the military leader of the “Front” Zahran Alloush, directly admits that he met with leaders of AlNusra Front and fought alongside them, then saying “I have not found any difference between the ‘rules’ of AlNusra and those of the Army of Islam”. Alloush further dismisses the US listing of AlNusra as a terrorist organization. He boasts about the foreign support he is getting from wealthy governments and extremist fundamentalist personalities in the Gulf region who openly brag about their support to sectarian killing and massacring in Syria, all of those countries are very close US allies
“A senior al Qaeda operative known as Abu Khalid al Suri is a leading figure in Ahrar al Sham, a Syrian extremist group that is part of the recently formed Islamic Front. Al Suri’s real name is Mohamed Bahaiah” according to http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2013/12/aq_courier_rebel_leader_zawahiri.php?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#ixzz2nwjI7Uul

“How much worse should it get, Mr. Kerry, before we realize that our policies are only prolonging the killing and destruction in Syria?” asked Dr. Ghias Moussa, Director of Communications of SAF. “Do we have to wait until these terrorists hit us home, here in the USA, before we open our eyes to the fact that we are channeling our efforts and energy in the wrong direction?”

SAF calls on the Administration to abandon this policy that amounts to fueling the crisis in Syria and move instead to promoting dialogue in Syria through the Geneva2 process with the representatives of the Syrian people not of the militias consisting of foreign fighters and financing.

December 19th, 2013, 5:24 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

her it goes again,…. the zouzou’s and co staying-power.

December 19th, 2013, 5:28 pm

 

zoo said:

Uzair8

120,000 dead syrians did not change the mind of many.
Sorry but I doubt the death of a volunteer Moslem british doctor who died in suspicious circumstances a day before he was going to be released will have any impact.
I understand that you are trying to console yourself by trying to find a “meaning” to his death.
Unfortunately it does not have any as the decapitations and tortures have changed nothing in the course of that human disaster that some continue to call a revolution.
As cynical as it may sound, the Doctor died for nothing.

December 19th, 2013, 5:33 pm

 

zoo said:

Jihad Makdissi reappears and hopes for the ‘silent majority’ to take its place

Former Assad official Makdissi backs ‘third way’ for Syria’s silent majority

December 19, 2013

DUBAI // Peace talks between the Syrian regime and opposition next month could open a political path for the “silent majority” of Syrians who support neither side, a former regime spokesman says.

Jihad Makdissi disappeared from Damascus with his family in mysterious circumstances a year ago, sparking rumours he had defected.

He has since stayed largely out of the public eye and, despite a brief statement saying he had resigned because “violence and polarisation” had “left no place for moderation and diplomacy”, he did not join the opposition, he said.

But peace talks scheduled for January 22 in Montreux and Geneva have raised Mr Makdissi’s hopes and those of other Syrians that a “third-way” solution can be found to the brutal conflict that has killed at least 120,000 people.

“After Geneva these people will dare to speak more. I am talking about the silent majority of Syrians,” he told The National in Dubai, where he is now based.

“We know it will not be perfect. It will not bring a perfect result. Any truce or ceasefire is a gain because it will give room for politics. It’s a window of opportunity.”

He said the regime had failed to address “the core issue of the Syrian people and change”, while the opposition had been “talking to the West, not the Syrian people”.

“The opposition was impatient to topple the regime. The street wants change. There’s a huge difference,” Mr Makdissi said. “If you’re in a boxing match, the opposition wants a knockout. The people want to win by points, I believe.”

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/former-assad-official-makdissi-backs-third-way-for-syrias-silent-majority#ixzz2nxwPQq3f
Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | thenational.ae on Facebook

December 19th, 2013, 6:20 pm

 

Observer said:

he supposedly committed suicide according to the stooge Mikdad. Died just a day before being released. He weighed 22 kg. He probably was starved to death and then a few days before his release his captors may have given him more food and he may have died from re-feeding syndrome. But again to arrive at a weight of 22 kg it means that he was starved just as the Nazis starved the Jews and he died bringing the horror of your regime to the fore. He was also tortured to death just as millions before were over the last 50 years of abomination called the Alawi regime of oppression and hatred and graft. 50 years of drinking Matte and getting drunk and taking positions without any education and taking posts by corruption and not paying any water or electricity bills and stuffing positions with fake salaries and moreover after calling for France to give them independence and then going on to attack Al Hiffeh only to have them beaten back in the early 20th Century.

This is the regime insider defending another abomination. Well well he is lamenting beheadings but he forgets burying people alive and burning them alive and killing their children with knives in front of their parents and raping their daughters in front of their fathers.

The Alawites are now negotiating non retribution. They will have full retribution unfortunately as they lumped their fate with the worst Arab dictator in history.

200000 dead 3 million homes destroyed and this is being conservative.

He is coming for you and soon very soon indeed.

December 19th, 2013, 6:32 pm

 

Tara said:

Defeat is victory….and

Depravity is decency.

Pretending emotions towards Syria and towards the British “Muslim” doctor is deprave.

December 19th, 2013, 7:09 pm

 

zoo said:

The terrorists defender has openly admitted he is no more an Syrian expat , he is an alien to Syria. He has no emotional link with Syria whatsoever and he is just observing with delight the splitting of Syria that he has been advocating right from the start.

He is having just fun here predicting more disasters and more death for Syrians.

December 19th, 2013, 7:17 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

The Sunni Jihadists must eradicated totally from the whole Middle East and the world…

Of all the lame excuses… The Sunni (and Mullahstan Shia) Jihadists appeared in Syria over a half-year AFTER Assad went to war against unarmed Syrians expressing their free speech.

December 19th, 2013, 7:29 pm

 

zoo said:

@119 Observer

You said:

“he supposedly committed suicide according to the stooge Mikdad. Died just a day before being released. He weighed 22 kg. He probably was starved to death

Please provide the source of this information.

The doctor wrote in a letter: “Repeated bouts of diarrhoea and chronic dermatological infection saw me lose 40-50 per cent of my body weight.”

“He was moved in August to a civil prison – low security almost like an open prison. He seemed to be comfortable and began teaching English to others. My mum saw him regularly at this point.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/family-devastated-after-british-doctor-abbas-khan-dies-in-a-syrian-jail-9009981.html

http://news.sky.com/story/1183602/syria-murdered-british-doctor-says-minister

December 19th, 2013, 7:45 pm

 

zoo said:

Uzair8

Did you know that?

His brother:

“He was moved in August to a civil prison – low security almost like an open prison. He seemed to be comfortable and began teaching English to others. My mum saw him regularly at this point.

December 19th, 2013, 7:58 pm

 

Matthew Barber said:

Adam Daniels,

You are welcome to post your opinions on Syria Comment, but please consult our guidelines: http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/syria-comment-rules-and-regulations/

Remarks that are abusive to or intolerant of people groups are not allowed. (I.e. “… the Kurds are the most incompetent/inadequate people in the Middle East” – such comments are not respectful or appropriate and will result in the prevention of posting on the part of the user.)
If you have a problem with specific individuals or groups who commit certain acts, you must specify this and explain what actions you are denouncing, rather than making generalized attacks on human communities (i.e., consider the difference between: “Sunnis who engage in terrorism” vs. “Sunnis are terrorists”).

I have noticed recent references to minorities that are basically blanket-statements: i.e. “…a mirror image of the face of minorities in the ME.” If “minorities” in this statement were replaced with “Sunnis” I would immediately begin receiving emails asking for the banning of the user. Please do not malign whole groups; each group is comprised of individuals whose actions, opinions, and beliefs differ.

We also do not allow terms of abuse that are hurtful to people with disabilities. I’ve noticed that the use of “retard” has reemerged lately; please do not use this word.

December 19th, 2013, 7:59 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Notwithstanding that zouzou omitted many of Dr. Khan’s words (i thought this was Ghufran’s job), zouzou’s attempt to throw sand in our eyes by challenging the veracity of OBSERVERS’s comment about Dr. Khan’s weight when he finally succumbed to torture as if it is the issue not the death under torture of one of many Doctors who died at zouzou’s regime torture dungeons, is a standard mullahstan deceitful trick: argue details, and keep trying to divert people’s eyes from the reality of your ugliness.

Wow, no matter how well these liars are potty trained by their iranian and russian masters, the potty has a huge hole in it.

And zouzou, most likely a lebanese aoune and nus-lira operative, is now defining what it is to be Syrian. Shameless as the masters of propaganda always are.

December 19th, 2013, 8:06 pm

 

zoo said:

Hamster

No one calls a “low security prison” where a prisoner teaches english “a dungeon” of tortures.
Only frustrated and hysterical hamsters.

By the way could you stop imposing on us your suspicious taste for scatology.

December 19th, 2013, 8:14 pm

 

Tara said:

Uzair

You must also read:

“He had been held in an underground cell in complete darkness for eight months, systematically beaten and tortured, she said. At one point his weight dropped to a five stone.

In two handwritten letters, passed to Foreign Secretary William Hague by his mother, Dr Khan wrote: “I have been violently forced to beat other prisoners, kept in squalid conditions, …… I have also experienced male prisoners being beaten to death and female prisoners screaming as they were being abused.”
—-

Whitewashing the crime is depravity!

December 19th, 2013, 8:21 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Funny thing that zouzou tries to use “civilized” definition like minimum security jail again to throw sands in everyone eyes about the level of depravity the abominations it tries to defend, rather desperately. Sink zouzou sink……

A 14 year old relative of mine was tortured, in her school, by an entity, who just like zouzou, throws sands in people’s eyes in defense of an indefensible abomination like the assad regime. she still has the scars to show..

The level of desperation entities like zouzou show in defending the criminal regime and whitewashing its crime is an indication of their fear of eventually being held accountable for their culpability in the crimes for whitewashing such crimes is not merely a depravity as TARA has correctly pointed. It is participation, with malicious intent in killing Syrians. Zouzou only has words like hysterical hamster to throw back at me. How smart… civilized, and really really pathetic and desperate.

The stench of fear permeates every post trying to show that their buffoon murdering thug has “staying-power”..

December 19th, 2013, 8:28 pm

 

Tara said:

Matt,

It is interesting that “remarks” are not tolerated on SC while criminal invitation to aerial bombardment and shelling to rubble of whole towns inhabited by children among the other civilians is ok.

December 19th, 2013, 8:28 pm

 

Matthew Barber said:

It’s not okay, Tara, and users have been banned for it.

December 19th, 2013, 8:38 pm

 

SYRIAN HAMSTER said:

Forget it,.

December 19th, 2013, 8:42 pm

 

Tara said:

Matt,

We’ll, thank you Matt. I am glad it is not ok.

It happened a day or two ago. I do understand that a moderator can not read every comment. And I truly am not asking to ban the poster.

Nevertheless, it is my opinion that when the aim of hate comments is to anger the others and to derail the discussion, I believe banning is in order. But when they come within a context of a real discussion, it gives one a glimpse of the thinking of the others. As much as I have lived ( and would have loved to continue to live) in a Disney Fairy tale, the reality is that Syria has been the land of evil and ugliness. We can’t build a future if we do not understand the present…

December 19th, 2013, 9:00 pm

 

Matthew Barber said:

I agree with you Tara, and I know you write with sincerity from your heart. And anyone who reads your comments can see that you always make real discussion, rather than just steamrolling others with the same sound-bytes in order to “win” an argument. But it’s easy for any of us to get carried away when the subject matter makes us so angry. We all have to remember to breathe and be respectful of others, and avoid language and statements that can be harmful.

December 19th, 2013, 9:33 pm

 

mjabali said:

Matthew Barber:

Please let these guys and girls say what they want about the minorities. You see how they were raised up, regarding the minorities, from examples of their texts here in Syria Comment.

When you have Observer say a RACIST/BIGOTED term like:

” 50 years of drinking Matte….”

Please let us have the freedom to respond to him.

December 19th, 2013, 10:56 pm

 

mjabali said:

Observer said in comment #119:

“after calling for France to give them independence and then going on to attack Al Hiffeh only to have them beaten back in the early 20th Century.”

I swear you do not know what you are talking about…..

I can prove it too…

December 19th, 2013, 10:59 pm

 

Observer said:

For 50 years they never paid electricity or water fees. For 50 years they got a position in the security services and government posts with barely a high school education. For more than 50 years they have rendered Damascus the ugliest city in the ME. For 50 years they had to work as doubles to every sensitive post or knowledgable post. For 50 years they produced only Adonis and that when he was educated elsewhere. For 50 years maintenance of infrastructure went unanswered.
The Syrian Army has 5000 tanks 10000 canons and 20000 trucks and armored personnel carriers and they have not been able to “liberate “a single neighborhood without destroying it. When it came to defending the integrity and sovereignty of Syria they repeatedly caved in: in 73 when they were pushed back and only a face saving gesture to give them Quneitra lest the father appear to be really what he is a thug and an incompetent fool. For 50 years of calling for Arab unity they managed to fight Iraq overtly and covertly and they managed to colonize Lebanon and to alienate the majority of the people. For that they left in abject humiliation with dilapidated trucks filled to the brim with stolen bathroom fixtures.

As for the past; their leader declared he is a deity and wanted independence. As for the past one of my friends tells me that they were actually brought in by the Crusades to serve them on the way to Jerusalem and it is no coincidence that their locations coincide with those of the Crusades. I am not sure about the veracity of this story the other being that they came from souther Iraq.

As for the more recent history the minorities were given a chance to construct a secular democratic western oriented civil society with institutions and constitutions and laws in the tortured fertile crescent and they all failed miserably: first and foremost the Sunnis who tool over Iraq and botched it; the Maronites in Lebanon; and the Alawi in Syria.

All of them reverted to their ancient hatred; their backward look on a backward distorted view of history; their puffed up sense of importance and superiority.

Then they proved it again and again of how much hatred they have for the others: Look at what Saddam did to the Shia in the south or what the Maronites did in Sabra and Chatilla or what the Alawites did in Houla and Boueida and in Khaldieh and in Daraya and many other places.

As for the death of the hero in the regime dungeons first and foremost in a modern civil society law abiding modern state not in this sectarian barbaric abomination called Thouria Alathad the accused is to have a proper indictment; a proper trial; a proper defense; a proper visitation rights; a proper contact with the consular services; a proper decent humane conditions; a proper medical care; and if ill a proper transfer to a hospital; and then if he died in custody a proper investigation; a forensic autopsy by independent pathologists; and a proper accounting of what happened.

But fifty years of smoking cigarettes drinking Matte and having the children access higher posts beyond their level of education and competence while they race down Mezzeh in their fancy cars has left a mark of impunity that we see demonstrated to this day on this blog.

There is an old Damascene saying: he took off the skin of his behind and put right on his face: Shame on those that have no Shame and no Decency and not an iota of modernity thinking that wearing a Ray Ban makes you modern.

This ilk is still living and thinking and behaving like the cavemen of yonder.

As for free speech on this blog; I would argue that there is none. Once again, the ACLU sued the state of Mississippi when it tried to prevent the KKK from demonstrating in Biloxi.

I propose that the concept of free speech and what constitutes hate speech or call to violence be decided by a panel of outsiders.

The minorities ( lest I am accused of being from the majority ) cannot live with each other: if we accept the premise that we are all minorities imported from Mars and Jupiter then at this stage we cannot live together so let us get out of each other’s hair and each establish a state.

Before we forget; the death of Dr. Khan is but one example of the tip of the iceberg of the atrocities committed daily by this mafia regime and its supporters.

Now, all those that continue to support this stooge will share it his fate.

Bogdanov told him to keep quiet. Just as the flurry of his interviews died down suddenly when orders from the infallible Supreme Jurisprudent came down to tone it down.

If Athad we Burn Albalad as the slogan has turned on its master. This regime is so stupid and these people are so incompetent that they have left the people with nothing more to lose.

I hope that the killing stops immediately but the reality staring us in the face is that there is no country left. The country has ended. Now, any area that the regime does not control is being bombed.

Well, do not run asking for help when the same is going to be meted out to you in the coming months.

What goes around comes around.

December 20th, 2013, 8:41 am

 

Observer said:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/17/world/meast/syria-civil-war/

Here it is with the family saying that they were told he committed suicide.

He did it the old fashion Thouria Althad’s way with four bullets to the back of the head right?

In the meantime, I am back to reading this great book : Travels in the Mountains of the Alawis by a Frenchman in the early 20th Century. Fascinating on the way of life and customs. Great subject for a social anthropology PhD thesis on how these customs have now “invaded” Damascus and Aleppo and Latakkia

December 20th, 2013, 9:05 am

 

zoo said:

To all the hateful, racists, sectarian, arrogant and warmongering pro-terrorists, I wish you a year filled with continuous frustration, hatred, humiliation, failure and despair.
I hope that 2014 will be the worst year of your life.

To the Syrians looking for dialog and peace, I just wish that the path finally reached leads them to the full victory over the dark forces working to bring down Syria.
I wish you a year of peace and reconciliation among brothers and sisters.

December 20th, 2013, 9:40 am

 

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